With the sale of Pablo Fornals, and that of Sansone and Soriano, Villarreal is sitting on a bunch of cash. But exactly what will be done with it is far from certainee, keeping in mind that much of it won’t be spent this summer.
Here is the latest scoresheet, with the most likely or most persistent rumors at the top.
Raul Albiol—clearly wanting to return to the Valencian Community, Villarreal are believed to be in the pole position for his services, but we’ve seen this movie before—Albiol was allegedly close to signing for us last summer and didn’t. Would be a good signing but until it’s official I won’t believe it!
Moi Gomez—I confess, I have always liked Moi, and saw him have an excellent game live against Sevilla a couple of years back. He had a very good season for Huesca on loan from Sporting Gijòn. A criticism of him from his Villarreal days was he was too selfish a player, but he racked up nine assists with Huesca. This one seems likely to happen (and may even involve a deal where Sporting takes Javi Fuego).
Pablo Matteo—This one hit the papers today and makes some sense, if you accept that Mario Gaspar may be moving on (see below). Matteo’s Stuttgart was relegated, he had injury problems and was suspended as well, but he is still a right back worth chasing. He had an excellent season with Girona a couple of years ago on loan from Manchester City, so knows La Liga well. Espanyol are believed to want him, but may not see his signing as any sort of priority.
We do know that Pau Torres is returning from loan. But no other centerback rumors I’m aware of.
Alfonso Pedraza—Eintracht Frankfurt are interested and it sounds like he will be gone for something like €15m + variables, a sell-on clause, etc. Not too happy about this personally, as I rather like our “tank”. Seems likely to occur, though.
Sticking with the left side of the pitch, there was something of a trial balloon floated last week to the effect that Jaume Costa could be moving on, possibly to Levante. Haven’t heard anything since. And Denis Cheryshev apparently wants to play for Valencia, not Villarreal, but there’s been nothing new about him, or, for that matter, Victor Ruiz.
Mario Gaspar— it’s been suggested that Mario is maybe going to be moving on, though again, this could be just a trial balloon. He’s a cantera product with a contract until 2023, but he might be thinking this is an opportunity to move on. And, it could be Villarreal’s only opportunity to cash in, as by 2022 he’ll be 32.
The lack of European football is likely to mean loans for players like Santy Caseres and Miguelón Llambrich, who aren’t likely to be starters in yellow next season.