Friday, August 25, 2023

Transfer updates: Cömert and André to leave, Mir and Amallah pending

Valencia has got closer to its objective of clearing our unwanted players in recent days. It looks like Marcos André is on his way back to Valladolid. Valencia will receive 2 million and transfer 40% of the rights they own (Valladolid still had 10%), so Valencia will receive half of any future transfer. Thus ends yet another awful transfer of the Lim era. Valencia paid 9 million for the player and worse, pushed out Kangin Lee to make way for him. There are occasions on which Valencia's fanbase have been divided over a transfer, but this was one where no one was excited in the first place. Even with low expectations, he managed to hugely disappoint. 46 games played in the league and a shockingly bad 2 goals. To put that in context, Paulista has 3 in 40 games over the last 2 seasons, while Diakhaby got 3 in 29 games last season. Those are figures which almost make Ruben Sobrino look good. 

Also out the door is Cömert.

He joined for a less financially ruinous 800,000 in January 2022. He had a poor start and looked out of his depth. However, last season, pre-world cup he significantly improved, looking much more competent under Gattuso. During this time, he scored his only goal for the club, unintentional as it was, putting the ball back into the box and fluking a 96th minute equaliser after André has put the game in danger by being idiotically sent off. He goes on loan to Nantes, who had a 3 million buy option, which looks reasonable.

The last player Valencia are looking to move out is Samu Castillejo. He did ok last season after joining on a free, but as with many his form tailed off after the world cup and there are rumours of lack of professionalism and that he likes the Valencia nightlife scene a bit too much. With no offers coming in, Valencia have made an offer of 450,000 for him to rescind his contract, but the player is demanding a million.

With those first 2 deals done, there was expectation that the Rafa Mir deal could finally be closed and Valencia upped their offer yesterday to meet Sevilla's asking price. However, Sevilla then threw a spanner in the works, with their sporting director announcing that he expected Mir to stay for the season. There a few things going on here. First, Mir scored a really good goal in Sevilla's last game. It's possible, but unlikely, that that has given Sevilla second thoughts. More likely is that Sevilla are just chancing their arm, trying to squeeze more money out of Valencia. By delaying the deal past the weekend Sevilla will know that they also hurt a rival like Valencia by denying them a player for now.  A further factor is the En Nesyri situation. West Ham have made an offer to Sevilla and if he goes there then they may keep Mir due to lack of forward options. However, they've added Dodi Lukebakio and are said to be close to signing Alkmaar's Vangelis Pavlidis. With Mir trying to force an exit, I still think he'll end up with us, but it's frustrating that the deal may go to deadline day. Valencia still haven't ruled out signing alternatives and Lucas Boye of Elche and Borja Majoral of Getafe are plan Bs.

What this doesn't help is Valencia's pursuit of Selim Amallah. Apparently negotiations on that finished about a month ago, with Valencia managing to get Valladolid to lower the buy option from 10 million to 6 million. The problem is that Valencia have been waiting for departures and the player is naturally getting fed up of waiting around. To add to the difficulties, Celta have now entered the race for the player. With Gabri Veiga set to go to Saudi for around 40 million, Celta will have the cash to pay outright, which could scupper the deal for Valencia. Celta have also been linked with Maksimovic of Getafe for 6-7 million, which would be far better for Valencia, as we still own 30% of the player. One possibility if Maksimovic did go north is that Getafe could give Mayoral to us in exchange for cash and the 30% Maksimovic cash.

As always, we never seem to get business done in a timely way, which always costs us and I expect this year we'll be waiting until the final day. It would not be a surprise to see some unexpected loanees (probably linked to Mendes) end up here at the last minute either.