Showing posts with label official transfers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label official transfers. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Murillo leaves / Maxi Gomez deal close

Jeison Murillo's time at Valencia is at an end. We signed him as one of the centre backs for the 2017/18 campaign and he had a fair few starts in the early months, playing 8 of the 12 games after he signed before getting injured for 3 months.

When he returned he got a few games, but that was because Garay was injured and by that point, Garay and Gabriel were Marcelino's main choices. In 2018/19 he was mostly sidelined, playing in the home games against Juventus and Celta before playing his final game in the Copa at Ebro. He then joined Barcelona on loan as part of a joke with his agent. Sadly, it also didn't work out for him as he played just 1 full league game, another as a late sub and a couple of games in the Copa. The deal takes him to Sampdoria on loan, with them paying 2 million, which will mostly cover his wages. They then have an obligatory buy of 13.5 million. Many of us wanted him to stay as one of four defenders but given that Marcelino clearly doesn't count on him, this is for the best and at least Valencia make a small profit of 1.5 million on the deal.

The other news is that the long drawn out saga of Maxi Gomez seems to be over. Valencia first expressed their interest in late May but Celta understandably decided to wait until Copa America was over on the off-chance that his value would rise. It didn't as he didn't play but when the tournament finished, West Ham had renewed their interest in signing a player that they first tried to get in January. While Valencia seemed the obvious choice, due to language and Champions league football, West Ham were able to put a much higher salary on the table. That a club that finished 10th, never gets near Champions league football nor challenges for anything is able to do that is a serious indictment of La Liga's lousy financial model in the last decade that has allowed C-list English clubs to outbid us.

Just yesterday, it seemed that West Ham had won the race but, credit to Celta, they were more interested in honouring their agreement with us and maintaining good relations than chasing the money. Of course, their motives are not all altruistic, they regain Santi Mina and get Jorge Saenz on loan for 2 years as part of the expected deal. I think this will be good business for Valencia when confirmed.

There are still many questions to be answered. Will Rodrigo and Piccini stay? If not, who replaces? Who will be the fourth defender? Who will Valencia sign as Parejo's understudy, if anyone? Who will take remaining unwanted players (Abdennour, Medran, Nacho Gil, Sobrino etc) off Valencia's hands? Plenty to do, but I think the Murillo and Gomez deals would be a good step forward.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Valencia CF sign Jason

Valencia CF announced the official signing of 'Jason', who joins Valencia CF as a free player, having had his contract with Levante end this summer.

David Remeseiro Salgueiro or better known as 'Jason' signed a 3 year deal with Valencia CF with a transfer clause of 35 million euros. He is a right winger, though can also play as a right back as well, so a cheap cover for Soler with the option to play him as a right back if a need arises.

Valencia CF also signed Cheryshev, so we have two options on the wings now, assuming players like Kang in Lee and Ferran Torres are loaned out somewhere, otherwise their playing options might be very limited and will stifle their growth.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Cheryshev in ; Vezo out

With the Neto/Cillessen swap deal done and solving Valencia's financial fair play problem, we are starting to see some movement in the transfer market.

While pending official confirmation, the first two deals are Cheryshev joining permanently and Vezo joining Levante permanently.

Cheryshev completed his second loan spell with us last season, netting 4 goals with 5 assists on top. Valencia's buy option rose from 7.5 to 10 million as a result of Champions league being achieved, but we'd been clever enough not to make it compulsory. As a result, with the player wanting to continue with us and Villarreal wanting him off the books for FFP reasons, it looks like the amount will be around 6 million.

He was a solid alternative to Guedes and is a back-up option for the forward line, as he showed in the game against Celtic. He also led the way in "key passes" being second only to Messi among the top 6.

Of course, the elephant in the room is his injury record, which affected both his loans with us. He was unavailable for 17 of the 61 games last season, so it will be ok, if he stays fit.

The second piece of business is the departure of Ruben Vezo. As he's only 25, it's hard to believe he's a grizzled veteran of Valencia. Only Parejo, Jaume and Gaya have been with the team longer. Djukic signed him in the autumn of 2013, with the transfer going through the start of the following year. His opportunities at Valencia were always limited and he remained a back-up player. He did get more playing time in Marcelino's first season, as the coach used him as a right back in the away games, but he featured less and less this season, with Marcelino using Wass instead at right back. Following a successful loan at Levante, it looks like they'll pay us 5m plus a possible 1m more for the permanent transfer. His previous club gets 25% of that.

The signing of Cheryshev almost certainly means that Denis Suarez won't be joining and it looks like he'll join Celta instead. Rafinha, however looks likely to be coming and that's similar to Cheryshev: a good player but dogged with injury issues.

Valencia are still negotiating with Celta for Maxi Gomez, with West Ham still offering competition. There are reports that a deal could be struck but the figures seem unacceptable. 15 million plus Mina, Jorge Saenz (with a buyback option) and another player (Racic or Villalba) on loan. I've said many times that I think Gomez would be an excellent signing, but he's not worth that much. Maybe a swap of Mina and 10 million absolute maximum.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The curious case of Norberto Neto (starring Jasper Cillessen)

Various sites are now reporting what has been clear for a week. Jasper Cillessen has signed for Valencia after passing a medical, with Neto going the other way to Barcelona, where he will earn up to three times more.

For Cillessen, the move makes perfect sense. He will earn the same as he did at Barcelona and get a lot more game time than he would as second choice to Ter Stegen, one of the best keepers in the world.

The mystery remains, though, what went through Neto's head to prompt this change? Sure, he will get more money, but the whole point of him joining us in the first place was because he was fed up getting little game time at Juventus. Going to Barcelona seems a bit like Alcacer going there, a backward step in his career.

Neto was the first signing of the Marcelino era and, predictably, it led to a lot of grumbling from our fans, just see the post and the subsequent comments here. His early period didn't dispel that, as he seemed too static with some goals he conceded. but he improved greatly over time to the point of being a key player. If I ever get around to writing player ratings for the season just gone, Neto would certainly have been one of my top three, along with Parejo and Gaya. Some of our fans seem to have an obsession with bringing back past players and coaches, but the name of Diego Alves was quickly forgotten.

The stories doing the rounds are that it all blew up over the Copa del Rey. Marcelino confirmed that Jaume would play the final, as he had every game in the tournament. Having made that call, Marcelino then decided that Jaume should get the last two league games of the season to sharpen him up and get him ready for the cup final. It could all have backfired, with Jaume producing a ropey performance, like the questionable one away at Betis, but it didn't. Good decision from the coach.

It all seems to have gone down badly with Neto, though. There are various stories. One that he was annoyed because that meant that he was not in goal to celebrate either the league 4th place or cup successes. Another that he felt that this cost him a place in the Brazil squad for the Copa America. The last is that he had a fall-out with Marcelino. The last seems plausible. Neto's last game for us saw him concede four goals at home to Arsenal, a bit of a sad way to go out. It's entirely possible that Marcelino, annoyed by that coming after Neto had conceded nine goals in the 4 previous games, decided to bench Neto anyway.

So while it's sad it's ended this way, good luck to Neto. He'll get three times as much money for doing a quarter of the work. Who wouldn't say yes to that?

Unlike in previous cases, the replacement seems perfectly fine.

Cillessen is the same age and actually does better on most metrics than Neto. Does better in the air and better at playing the ball out from his feet. Some of our fans are grumbling as usual and I don't see why. I'd have preferred to keep Neto for continuity reasons but if he wants to go, the club has found a very good replacement.

Another big advantage of the deal is that Valencia gets the cash to clear their accounts by 30 June. If we hadn't done this, we'd have been forced into a big sale, probably of Rodrigo and for a lesser price than the club hoped for. As it is, we can play hardball on Rodrigo until the end of the transfer window.

What do you think of this deal?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Nemanja Maksimovic to stay in Getafe

Valencia CF and Getafe CF have reached an agreement to end the 'purchase clause' in Nemanja Maksimovic's sale contract. As most of you know Valencia CF built in a sort of buy-back option for Nemanja Maksimovic when they sold him to Getafe CF for the 3 years after his sale, with each year the transfer fee increasing. Thus Valencia CF this year has the option to purchase Maksimovic from Getafe for around 9 million euros.

Valencia CF would get an additional 5.5 million euros, on top of the 5.5 million euros Getafe CF already paid for a total of 11 million euros. Valencia CF gets to have a 'future sales fee' in the new contract though and are said to receive up to 30% of the transfer fees if Getafe CF choose to sell the player in the future. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

News round-up

Quite a bit of news has been pushed to the background recently with the club focused on Copa and the Barcelona game.

Diakhaby, of course, was suspended for four games, after being sent off after provocation at the end of the Getafe game. That should have been the end of it, but instead the president of Getafe, Angel Torres, relit the fires with an extraordinary tirade, lambasting Marcelino for events a decade ago when he was at Gijon, criticising Valencia for celebrating "as if they had won the world cup" and, most crucially, deriding Diakhaby as "morenito" a racially derogatory term. In response, Valencia have been considering filing an official complaint, even though Torres apparently phoned the club to apologise. I keep an eye on opposing fan forums and on the Getafe ones, though they're coming off with the usual ones about biased referees etc, most of them are saying he should just shut up and let it go.

Of existing players, both Kangin Lee and Parejo saw extended contracts, which is important for the club. In the case of the former, besides being a promising talent, the commercial potential of having a rising star of Korean football is immense. In the case of Parejo, he will always be divisive, but he has been at Valencia a ridiculously long time and is a motor through which the team moves. His renewal extends his contract to 2022 instead of next year, with the release clause staying the same at 50 million. He's currently 24th on the list of Valencia players who have played most games with the likelihood of him overtaking people like Quique Sanchez Flores and Carlos Marchena to break into the top 20 by the season's end.

Valencia confirmed several rumoured transfers recently. The official exit of Aderlan Santos was one. Good luck to him, he was utterly rubbish when here.

More importantly, VCF have secured, or are close to securing, the addition of several young players. It has to be said that Valencia's attempts to secure promising youth on the cheap in recent years has been more miss than hit. Bakkali and R De Paul arrived to fanfare, but were judged not good enough, though the latter may have been a mistake in hindsight. Medran, Racic and Maksimovic all have some sort of link to the club, but it looks unlikely they'll ever feature again. So the signings come against that backdrop.

The most important is Manu Vallejo, who turns 22 next week. He has a similar playing position to Guedes, playing as advanced left winger or centre forward. With Cadiz B, he netted 58 times in 94 games, before making the jump to Segunda, where he's been probably the breakout young player this year in the whole division, with 8 goals and 3 assists in 26 games, pretty credible for a midtable team and I'm optimistic about this one. The transfer fee was 5.5 million, with a further 3.5m in add-ons, 10% of any future sale and Cadiz having first option on any Valencia players sent to Segunda on loan.  

The second, joining us on a free transfer, is Salva Ruiz. He was once touted as a great promise at left back, making his debut at age 17 playing the full game in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey in 2012. By coincidence, Gaya had made his first team debut in the first leg of that game. Ultimately, Ruiz was let go, but the club has decided to give him a second go, though he'll rejoin the reserves.

Strongly rumoured, though not yet officially confirmed, are the additions of Jason from Levante and Jorge Saenz from Tenerife. The first has done well as a winger with Levante and would join on a free, while the latter would be 2 million and is a promising Spain under-21 central defender.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Transfers and transfer speculations

A lot to catch up on. First, news that went virtually unnoticed. Valencia finally got rid of Aderlan Santos, who joined Saudi club Al-Ahli. I haven't been able to find a transfer fee, so it's likely he went for free and if we did get anything it was peanuts and the club just had to take the loss of nine and a half million euros. Santos was a disaster from start to finish, probably the worst signing of the Lim era and, along with Abdennour, forming one of our worst defensive duos of recent times.

In a surprise move, Ruben Vezo went on loan to Levante for the rest of the season without a buy option. He's almost a veteran of the club, with only Parejo and Gaya in the senior team longer. He's never really convinced but was usually a handy back-up. His role this season has been more limited, with Wass preferred as the alternative to Piccini (who, it has to be said, has done better in recent weeks.) Alex Blanco was also loaned out to Alaves.

Kang-In has been confirmed as a member of the first team and sees his release clause bumped up from 20 million to 80 million.

For replacements, Valencia are said to be very close to an agreement to take Roncaglia of Celta on loan for the rest of the season with a buy option as the central defender. Ruben Sobrino of Alaves now looks the likely choice for the fourth forward. Neither one really excites me, but after last summer's spending binge, funds are limited. Valencia are still trying to get rid of Batshuayi, with English clubs Everton and West Ham reported to be interested.

More interestingly, recent speculation has linked us with Manu Vallejo of Cadiz, one of the breakout stars of Segunda division, who has scored 8 goals and 3 assists in 23 games this season, operation either as a winger or forward. He's 22 next month. The suggestion is that Valencia will pay 6 million, rising to a possible 10, with Cadiz keeping him for the rest of the season.

The window closes a day from now, so all will soon be clearer.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Europa league draw / Jeison Murillo joins Barcelona

Valencia got Celtic in Monday's Europa league draw, with the first leg in Glasgow on 14 February and the second at Mestalla 7 days later. There are no easy teams at these stages, but that's a winnable tie.

The loan of Jeison Murillo to Barcelona was confirmed today. He joins for €2 million with a buy option of €25 million. Murillo has only played three times this season: at home to Juventus and Celta and away to Ebro. While I disagree with the many fans who seem to view him as "our best defender" I don't really understand that transfer. With Garay's constant injuries and recent injuries to Gabriel and Diakhaby, why leave ourselves short in the defensive department?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Nacho Gil and the international break

Valencia announced this week that Nacho Gil will join Elche on loan for the remainder of the season, however the transfer cannot go through until the transfer window opens again on 1 January. Gil has had a bit of a disappointing time at Valencia. He did well for the reserve teams, thought he deserved better, and submitted a transfer request (with Villarreal interested) in January 2017, which the club refused. Voro brought him on as a sub in a couple of games the following month, before dropping him. Marcelino brought him back into the set-up for a few Copa del Rey games and he also started on the left in the league away to Eibar and Las Palmas, before being loaned out to the latter. His time at LP was also a disappointment and he clearly hasn't made the grade at Valencia, so a loan with a view to moving him on permanently, seems to be the best option.

During the international break, Valencia took whatever players were not on international duty to Alcoyano for a friendly, winning 3-0 (highlights here.) Gameiro and Mina both did well and scored the first two goals but the best player was Ferran Torres, playing from the left, who capped off a great performance with a super goal.

The international break was a good one overall for Valencia players. Batshuayi scored twice for Belgium, Cheryshev scored for Russia in Turkey and for Spain, Rodrigo featured in both Nations league games and took full advantage of Costa's absence. Against England he provided an assist for the equaliser before scoring what turned out to be the winner and was widely praised for his performance, with some even naming him man of the match. Against Croatia he was overshadowed by a quality performance from Asensio, but still managed to slot home in a 6-0 rout. The other good thing in that game was at left back

with Gaya finally making his debut. He justified his selection with a solid performance, covering well in defence and contributing several quality crosses. He wasn''t the only debutant, Neto made his first appearance for Brazil, playing the full 90 minutes and keeping a clean sheet in a 5-0 win over El Salvador in the USA. Murillo also played all 90 minutes of a friendly for Colombia. Guedes was maybe the one who could be disappointed, as he was an unused sub in both Portugal games, but as he hasn't played a competitive match yet this season, it's understandable.

Valencia have a tough and critical week coming up. (Tough month actually.) First we welcome Betis to Mestalla on Saturday before opening up our Champions league campaign against Juventus, then finally going to Villarreal. Our start so far has been weak, but not disastrous: the results against Atletico and Levante were the same as we got last season, with the concern centring on the Espanyol defeat. However, we are only 2 points behind rivals like Sevilla, Betis, Bilbao and Sociedad and ahead of Villarreal, so can quickly make up ground if we start winning. So no need to panic yet, but if we do not get a win against Betis, alarm bells will start to ring. While they've made a few good additions in the summer, they remain weak at the back and Quique Setien's gung-ho approach is ideal for our counter attacking style, which is why we put 8 past them last season, so I expect a win.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Valencia sign Ricardo Campos / more on Guedes

Another addition to the ranks today. Valencia have added Ricardo Campos from Juventus under 19s.

He joins on loan for a season, with Valencia having the option to make it permanent for around a million euros. Campos is 18 years old and can play across the front line, but mostly plays as a right winger and occasionally as a second striker. He was a Benfica youth product before Pablo Longoria brought him to Italy in 2016. He enjoyed a great first season, scoring 10 goals in 20 appearances for Juve U-17, but spent most of last season on the bench. However, Longoria obviously judges him worth a second look and he'll likely be assigned to Valencia Mestalla for assessment and, with Soler, Ferran and Wass covering the right wing spot, will probably be limited to Copa del Rey appearances for the first team, if at all.

Further on Guedes, sources now say he will join on loan for the season, with Valencia then having an obligatory buy clause of 40 million, with a further 10 million in "achievable" add-ons and 7 million in "difficult to achieve" add-ons. Presumably the achievable add-ons will cover things like goals scored, appearances, maybe Valencia qualifying for Champions league etc and the difficult ones will possibly be similar to those of Andre Gomes' sale to FCB: winning La Liga, reaching Champs league semis, nominated for Balon D'or etc. (I'm speculating, since sources don't clarify what they are.) PSG don't have a buy back option as the player himself was adamant he didn't want this and he had burnt his bridges there anyway by refusing more lucrative offers from England. There's also been no mention in sources of PSG getting any % of a future deal.

Amid the euphoria, there have been some Valencia fans questioning the deal, based on Valencia's poor financial situation and the fact he faded in the second half of the season and had a disappointing world cup. With Valencia's net transfer spending in this window the 10th highest, it does put considerable pressure on the club to achieve top 4, as otherwise we're in for another "summer of 16" (Gomes, Mustafi and Alcacer sold) where we'll be selling at least 2 key players, and probably more, to balance the books.

Valencia have also announced they'll play a friendly on 5 September against Alcoyano of Segunda B. That's the day of the international break, so it will effectively function as a training match for those not on international duty. Lastly, Dynamo Kyiv overcoming a 3-1 deficit against Ajax tonight will provide Valencia with 1.108 million in Champs league prize money.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Valencia sign Guedes

The long saga is finally over. Valencia confirmed this evening that agreement has been reached to sign Guedes.

He will travel to Valencia tomorrow to sign his contract. Full details of the transfer are not yet available, sources suggest 40 million euros plus 10 million more in unspecified performance related add-ons, but whichever it is, it will easily be the most expensive transfer in Valencia's history, far exceeding the 30 million we paid for Rodrigo 4 years ago. This has been dragging on for months, Valencia have been trying to sign the player since October last year and he was linked with several other clubs, with Arsenal the most closely linked, but the player repeatedly made it clear that he only wanted to play for Valencia. The determination on both the part of Valencia and the player overcame PSG's high demands.

Assuming there are no late shocks, like the exit of Rodrigo or another senior player I think this has been a really good transfer window. Just keeping Kondogbia and Guedes would have been a coup in itself but we added other players and it's now up to those players to overcome the Espanyol disappointment and prove the worth in the tough set of games in the 6 weeks ahead.

I'll update this post when more details of the Guedes transfer become available.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

News update

Firstly, a bit of news which passed us by last week. Valencia bought Jeison Murillo outright. We had until 30 June 2019 to exercise the compulsory buy under his loan deal. Murillo has always been well rated by fans but has found opportunities limited. He was out injured for 3 months last year and when he came back he was paired with Gabriel, as Garay was then injured. When the latter returned, Murillo was then dropped to the bench. It's pretty clear that Marcelino's preferred central defence duo is Garay and Gabriel and it now seems that Diakhaby may be the third choice as he was preferred for the Atletico game, with Murillo not even making the squad. So the timing of this one is a bit weird. But with extra games this season, hopefully Murillo will get his chance.

Superdeporte claim that Valencia are in negotiations to sign Lenny Pintor (Transfermarkt profile here) from France's second division. Pintor has just turned 18, plays as a left winger mainly but can also fit in on the right wing and as a secondary striker. This seems like another of Pablo Longoria's future investments and would be very much a depth/prospect type player along the lines of Uros Racic or Diakhaby. On the left wing, the Guedes saga drags on and for now it looks like no more than 50/50 that he'll join us. PSG are refusing to budge from their demand of 60-70m, a price beyond Valencia's means. A second loan seems out of the question. With the transfer window closing on 31 August, at least we'll know for sure soon. Alemany has said he is ready in case we don't get Guedes, so presumably we will have another left winger in mind apart from Pintor.

Similarly, despite continued links with Real Madrid, it looks unlikely that Rodrigo is going anywhere. While Lopetegui seems keen on bringing him, the Real Madrid fanbase and RM president seem unconvinced, especially since Alemany is insisting on the clause of 120m.

Rodrigo, along with Parejo, Gaya, Soler and Santi Mina is in Luis Enrique's preliminary list of 65 players for the forthcoming Nations League games. That list will be cut to 23, and Mina and Soler and probably Gaya at least would probably be among the players cut, but it's a sign that some of our talents are on the fringes and at least in the running.

Lastly, the final qualifying round of the Champions league is being played this week and next. This is the provisional situation

Valencia still need one of Benfica, Salzburg or PSV to be eliminated in order to make Pot 3 which would give us a better chance of an easier draw.. Last night's first leg results were:

RS Belgrade 0-0 RB Salzburg
Benfica 1-1 PAOK

PSV are strong favourites to go through and Salzburg in control, so our best chance seems to be PAOK beating Benfica. The draw for the group stage will take place next Thursday, 30 August. Time hasn't been confirmed but it's been at 18:00 Spanish time in previous years.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Simone Zaza to Torino FC

Well it seems neither of the linked clubs actually got Zaza, and in fact it is Torino FC who acquired the player on a one year loan deal with an option to purchase the player in the region of about 15 million euros.

Solid player and helped Valencia CF immensely last year, I think he and Rodrigo were the best attacking duo and their different styles contributed to making defenses fear them and have a hard time defending against both. Unfortunately Zaza is a passionate player and Marcelino couldn't handle his character, so even since last year after the winter transfer window he started getting less and less playing time, essentially ultimately coming mostly from the bench or once every three matches, not having any continuity in playing.

I wish Simone Zaza good luck in his new club and plenty of success, he deserves it. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Denis Cheryshev rejoins Valencia

Valencia announced today that Denis Cheryshev will rejoin the club. It's a loan for this season and sources disagree on what will happen next summer, whether there's a buy option and whether it's compulsory or not.

The news came as a real surprise. All our previous signings had been linked well before, but this just dropped without warning. Just this morning the Valencian sports press were talking about Ivan Falque of Torino as a possible reinforcement on the left. Like the Gameiro signing this one will have its critics.

His previous loan with us at the start of 2016, during the ill-fated Gary Neville era shows the pros and cons. He played six games and did really well. He scored the late winner against Espanyol, ending a long winless run for us and scored a good equaliser against Atletico Madrid (though we went on to lose) with another winner and assist against Malaga. But he suffered a hamstring injury 6 weeks into his loan for us and a sub appearance against Villarreal would prove his last game, as he was operated on after that and Valencia didn't pursue his signing due to worries about his injuries.

Marcelino then took him to Villarreal where it's been a similar story. He missed 32 of 51 games in 2016/17 due to injury and 11 of 46 last year. His best moment came in the world cup: with 4 goals in 5 games he is widely agreed to be one of the best XI from that tournament.

So there's the issue. When he's fit, he's a great player with good pace, a good eye for goal and lots of experience in Spain, but he seems very injury-prone. However, this loan (signing?) seems to be in addition to Guedes rather than instead of him. It also reduces the pressure to secure a quick deal for Guedes. In the absolute worst case scenario and the Guedes deal falls through we have Cheryshev and Wass at least to cover the left wing. With Guedes, we'll have a decent and experienced alternative, so I'm mostly optimistic about this, especially since he's worked with Marcelino before.

What do you think? Good or could we have done better?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Gameiro versus Zaza / Medrán leaves

Valencia officially announced yesterday that a deal had been reached with Atletico Madrid to bring in Kevin Gameiro, subject to a medical which should prove a formality. Sources report the fee as being 16 to 16.5 million euros, with another 2 possible. The signing, together with the arrival of Batshuayi, strongly seems to suggest that Simone Zaza will leave. The only thing that I could see halting that would be if Real Madrid bought Rodrigo, and they've shown no signs so far of meeting the asking price.

Of all the signings this summer, Gameiro is easily the most controversial, especially as it's understood he'll be replacing Zaza, a fan favourite. Gameiro's age, his price and his unspectacular stats have led to questions whether this is worth it, especially since it means we are helping out a direct rival by taking a discard off their books. So why ditch Zaza?

The first answer would be that the latter's stats are even worse than Gameiro's. His first half-season for us was unspectacular. Then he hit a real purple patch in September and October last year, but since then he's been failing to hit the target, notching up only 4 goals in his last 29 appearances. In contrast, Mina scored 12 playing significantly less time. Of course, stats aren't everything. Zaza does a lot more for the team in general with hold up play, work rate, hassling defenders and even tracking back to help the defence. But the fact remains, if he'd continued scoring at a reasonable rate, we wouldn't be discussing this.

The clearest answer to the question therefore seems to be Marcelino's methods. He's consistently made it clear that he wants a harmonious squad and players with egos like Alves, Negredo, Nani and Orellana or those who demand constant playing time (Ryan or Medrán) have been quickly shown the door. Zaza seems to fit into both those categories. He clashed several times with Marcelino and there were a couple of games where he seemed to be sulking and not giving it his all.

Ultimately I have mixed feelings on that one. I can see why Marcelino has chosen to move Zaza on, but I'll miss him and I'm not excited by the replacement, who will have little resale value. The other issue is that by bringing in Gameiro before Zaza leaves, we have reduced our bargaining power for the latter, as teams now know that we will need to sell him. We shall have to see how Gameiro does.

Mentioning Medrán, he has joined Rayo Vallecano on loan for the season. With the midfield well stacked, and Kangin Lee now on the fringes, his chances would have been very limited. My only issue is that we should have just moved Medrán on permanently. The Rayo deal doesn't include any buy option. I would have put a compulsory one in, of between a million or a million and a half, subject to Rayo staying up. As it is, he will come back next summer in the last year of his contract and we likely won't get anything for him.

Lastly, to update the situation from my previous post about the Champions league. We need one of PSV, Salzburg or Benfica to lose in qualifying to achieve pot 3. Benfica are playing this week in Turkey, defending a 1-0 lead against Fenerbahce. In money terms, we need Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv to lose in qualifying as we will get 1.1 million extra for each of those eliminated.

A week to go to the first game and with Guedes likely, we look to have a decent squad.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Bats joins the Bats

Valencia today confirmed that Michy Batshuayi will join on a season long loan. The loan fee has been variously reported as 3 million euros by Transfermarkt and 4 million by L'equipe, which is consistent with the amount that Superdeporte reported Valencia offering. Superdeporte also report that Valencia has a 50 million buy option on him.

The player spent the first half of last season at Chelsea before joining Dortmund on loan, clocking up a total of 19 goals in 39 appearances for both teams, including 2 goals in 4 Champions league games. An impressive enough total in two of the top leagues in Europe. He had been heavily linked to Sevilla, so snatching him from under their nose helps us and hurts a direct rival.

While some will ask what the point is in bringing in a player that we would struggle to buy, it seems a good move to me. He's an experienced and proven goalscorer, offers pace up front and, if he can help us achieve our objectives for the coming season (at least 4th in La Liga and at least last 16 of Champions league) then it'll have been worth it. Guedes' loan last year helped us reach Champions league and meant we haven't had to sell key players this summer. If the 50 million option is true then it could be within our reach if we have a good season / lose Rodrigo next summer or similar.

On the Guedes front, the close of the English transfer window yesterday significantly reduced PSG's options. He's already refused to go to Napoli, no other teams in France, Germany or Italy have the funds or interest in bringing him in. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have already spent their transfer budgets and the chance of him going to R.Madrid (who have never expressed any serious interest anyway) lessened when Penaldo left for Juventus. This looks very good for us.

There were a couple of other moves yesterday relevant to us. Vietto has joined Fulham on loan. There was some talk early in the summer that maybe we would negotiate his price down, but that quickly cooled and ultimately, I'm sure we'll wish him the best of luck there.

Andre Gomes, who has been linked with a return to us on loan or as a makeweight in a Parejo deal has joined Everton on loan. I doubt most of us will be that bothered. Our central midfield seems well sorted with Parejo, Kondogbia, Soler, Wass, Coquelin and Racic available (Medran is also there but looks set to join Rayo Vallecano.) Left wing is the main area to cover and Gomes is not a left winger. It's still good news for us. While he is officially a Barcelona player, even if out on loan, we still get the variables from his transfer deal: a million if Barca win the title, 0.5m if they reach Champs league quarters, a million more for the semis and 3.5m if they win it.

Ultimately, I'd agree with one of the recent comments by Nickster: if we can now add Guedes, while maybe replacing Zaza with Gameiro we'll be well placed for top 4. Aside from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, none of our rivals seems to have noticeably strengthened in this transfer window.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Martin Montoya joins Brighton & Hove Albion

Valencia CF right back Martin Montoya has been sold to Premier league club Brighton & Hove Albion FC for a reported fee of about 7 million euros, including bonuses. Martin Montoya joined Valencia CF two years ago as a free agent and quickly setup himself as the first choice right back, unfortunately last season he wasn't as good, making Valencia CF coach Marcelino lose trust in him.

He would have been useful this season as well, but the club had to sell someone after bringing in few players, yet keeping most of last year's squad. Right now Ruben Vezo and new signing Cristiano Piccini will be fighting over the right back starting position.

I wish Martin Montoya good luck as he leaves in good faith and having helped this team achieve its objectives. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Valencia sign Piccini

Valencia have announced their fifth signing of the summer transfer window.

Right back Cristiano Piccini joins from Sporting Lisbon for a fee somewhere between 7 million and 10 million euros (sources are unclear.) After starting his career in his native Italy, Piccini moved to Betis, where he spent 3 seasons, before joining Sporting last season, where he reportedly had a decent season.

It's no secret that the right back spot has been the one that Marcelino has been the most dissatisfied with this season, with Vidal dropped early on and Montoya only getting half the games with Vezo filling in most of the time. Valencia were interested in people like Meunier, Hateboer of Atalanta and Darmian of Manchester Utd, but all of them proved to be too expensive.

The reasons for going for Piccini seem clear enough. He's of the right age (will be 26 in September) has La Liga and Champions league experience and brings height to the team. Marcelino has been concerned that the club has been conceding goals from aerial balls from set pieces, while our defenders have offered little threat in the air from set pieces (Vezo scored the only such goal last season in the Copa.) Piccini, like Diakhaby, will add that height needed.

With his signing, it looks like Montoya will follow Vidal out the door. Negotiations are rumoured to be underway with Betis, with them offering 5 or 6 million and Valencia wanting 10m. If Montoya goes, then Piccini will be the main right back. It remains to be seen if another one will be signed. If not, Vezo, Paulista and Wass would be cover there.

We will see how this works out. My only thing with it is that if it is 10 million, we could've got a better price, especially by part-exchanging Nani, who went the other way. Still, it's good to see more movement this transfer window. Last year, by 10 August, the club had only signed Neto and Maksimovic. I guess at least 40 million to come from the Champions league helps speed things up.

Other transfer news is that Kangin Lee has signed a new contract, with his release clause being bumped up to 80 million in line with Alemany's strategy of protecting our promising youth players from vultures like FC Tourist of Catalonia or the premier league. Unfortunately, it didn't work with another youngster, Ferhat Cogalan. He refused the club's offer and has chosen to sign for Lille, with Valencia getting 150,000 for developing him.

No other news, just rumours.... the most likely is that Gameiro is still said to be coming. The club is still working to get Guedes, which may be on loan again. Possible interest in Andre Gomes returning, while Barcelona still maybe interested in Parejo. Lastly, with lots of defenders here now, Javi Jimenez may go out on loan to gain experience.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Nemanja Maksimovic joins Getafe CF

Its official, Nemanja Maksimovic joins Getafe CF for a reported fee of 5.5 million euros. Valencia CF has a buy-back clause implemented in the contract, where for the next 3 years it will have an option to buy-back the player at an increasing fee, before losing that option in the 4th year.

I'm not sure if there is also a sales clause, that Valencia CF would receive a percentage of any potential future sale in case they don't want to exercise the buy-back option.

Maksimovic did end up being useful last year, especially when all the injuries happened and he did play quite a few games for us, but Marcelino favored other options when he had the choice. This leaves us a bit light in the midfield department, especially as we lose some of the youth players who were called in to feature for us and considering we lost Andreas Pereira and Goncalo Guedes, Maksimovic did actually play as a right wing on occasion last year.

At this point Goncalo Guedes is basically lost, the best thing Valencia CF can do is find a decent replacement, someone who can partly cover for him, hardly think our new signing Wass can do it, especially as his prefered position is on the right.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Valencia's pre-season friendlies and more transfer exits

Valencia have already started their pre-season training and will play their first friendlies next week, in Switzerland. The "Alpine football festival" will see them play Galatasaray on 21 July at 18:00 and Lausanne on 24 July at 18:30. The club will then have away games at PSV (28 July, 19:00) , Leicester (1 August, 20:45) and Everton (4 August, 16:00.)

All times are Central European summer time (GMT+2) so the last 2 will kick off an hour earlier. The last game will then be a home game for our annual Orange Trophy, against Bayer Leverkusen at 21:30 on 11 August.

More exits to report this week. Nani was the biggest. He returns to Sporting Lisbon on a free transfer. Valencia will get 40% of any future sale. He joined us in 2016 for 8.5 million euro and a cold reading of his stats for 2016/17 aren't bad, with 5 goals and 8 assists, but in reality he was a huge disappointment. His time with us was blighted by injury and inconsistency. We did at least get 2 million from Lazio for his loan but otherwise he's yet another costly flop. Unless he makes a big money move to one of the retirement pastures like China, the MLS or the Middle East, it's unlikely that the 40% sell-on will be of much use, but at least we save on his high wage.

The next high profile departure is Nacho Vidal who has joined Osasuna, again on a free, though with Valencia retaining 50% of his rights, including of any future sale. Deportevalenciano report that there isn't even a buy back option, which seems strange. What a massive disappointment he turned out to be. Just last October he was being named as one of the five best young La Liga prospects, a future Spain international and a certain target for top European clubs this summer. He started last season okay, playing the full 90 against Las Palmas and the last 15 minutes at the Bernabeu, but whatever Marcelino saw in training, he didn't like. It would be a few games before he played again, in the away game at Sociedad where he scored with a great finish

but the next game after that, at Betis killed him off as he was responsible for their second and third goals in a near comeback. Fingers crossed he'll be able to resurrect things in the Segunda.

Speaking of disappointments, Fran Villalba has joined Numancia on a season-long loan. Big things were expected of him a couple of years ago, but he fell off the radar after that.

Gonzalo Villar was expected to sign a new contract but instead he's left on a free transfer to Elche, though Valencia retain 80% of his rights and he'll play more games for them.

A deal to sell Maksimovic to Getafe seems done, with only official confirmation lacking. They'll pay 5 million for him, with Valencia having a buy-back option of 7.5 million, next summer, rising by 1 million in the two summers after that. Valencia have even agreed in advance on a contract for him should he return.