Thursday, August 31, 2017

Nani and Abdennour leave on loan

In the last few days Valencia has managed to complete its objective of getting the last two unwanted high wage earners off the books.

Abdennour joins Olympique Marseilles on a one-year loan with the French club having the option to extend it to two years. Abdennour was close to joining Zenit but obviously decided that the food and weather would be better in the south of France. He joined the club in August 2015 as the big money replacement for Otamendi, with the club paying nearly 22m for him. But performances in his debut season were a big letdown. Fans praised his strength at first but questioned his positioning. After getting injured in the Autumn he made a number of mistakes which gifted the opposition goals: Getafe's second goal being typical and was followed by similar gaffes against teams like Betis and Celta, with an injury in the second part of the season not helping his cause.

Although there were some good performances in there, it was a bit like the Yoel situation: the early mistakes would be forever remembered. Reduced to back-up last season by Mangala and falling behind Garay, Murillo, Gabriel and even Vezo and Jimenez in the pecking order this season, his chances of getting any regular playing time slipped to near zero. In the past he seemed happy to sit and collect his wages, but with Tunisia in the mix for next year's world cup, he's off to France.

Nani was not on the list of players the club was seeking to get rid of, but with the club running up against Financial Fair Play limits, the club needed to rethink. Him and Mina were the obvious targets to free up space for a forward. With Nani's salary easily the highest and the club still harbouring hopes that Mina will reach his potential, it was Nani who went. He joins Lazio on a one-year loan, with Lazio having an option to buy. Gazetta Della Sport says this is 8m, while Spanish sources say 10m. His age means the club would have preferred to sell him but with time running out, as with other deals were forced to settle for less.

The remaining deals all look up in the air. Orellana continues to be linked with clubs in Turkey, Spain and Chile. Medran is reported to be close to a loan at Alaves. Reports suggest that Real Madrid are interested in Rafa Mir for 2.5m. Valencia remains confident of Guedes coming and will now try to sign a forward, most likely on an initial loan, to give the team more bite up front. The last question hangs over Pereira. A week ago Valencia were confident, but the issue seems to be that Man United are insisting in putting penalty clauses in the loan contract, so that if Pereira is fit and is not selected for a set percentage of games Valencia would have to pay Man United for his non-appearance! Obviously, Valencia are not keen on having their hands tied that way and are not going to agree to a deal which forces Marcelino to select a player who may not provide the quality needed. As a result, the club are looking at other options like Moussa Sissoko.