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

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Guillamon renews until 2023

Finally, after the doom and gloom of late, we have some very good news, first mentioned in the comments by our contributor Kuku.

Hugo Guillamon has signed a 3-year contract extension, until 30 June 2023.


His release clause is set at 80 million euros. Guillamon, of course, broke into the first team after the restart in a position where Valencia were badly in need of players with Garay leaving and Mangala and Diakhaby proving error-prone. It's a much needed boost to the back line, as he was out of contract and Villarreal were reported to be interested.

Meanwhile, the search for the new coach rumbles on. After the resignation of the previous sporting director, chief scout Miguel Angel Corona is now taking a more prominent role. A rumour on Twitter (here) is that he has proposed the options of Bordalas and Javi Gracia to Lim, with Ruben Baraja as a plan C. Mendes, in contrast, has proposed the options of Laurent Blanc and Leonardo Jardim. Of those, I'd probably go for Jardim, as he has good international experience, has worked well with young players and generally favours a more attacking style.

However, the way of doing it just shows the problems with the club. Why is Lim taking such a prominent role at all? Has he consistently demonstrated his footballing acumen? Obviously not. On the contrary, it seems that what he knows about football management could be written on the back of a postage stamp. In other clubs there would be a competent sporting director who makes this choice and then the owner simply rubber stamps it. Of course, Valencia being Valencia, we don't even have a sporting director. The involvement of Mendes is also worrisome. While Jardim interests me, there would be the suspicion that he would just be Mendes' inside man, so that Mendes could use the club as a shop window for his prospects, most of whom seem to come from his c-list rather than his top table. It is expected that the new manager will be appointed by next week, possibly Monday, as the club will return to training on 10 August.



Thursday, January 30, 2020

Official: Valencia CF loan Alessandro Florenzi from AS Roma

Valencia have officially announced the loan of Alessandro Florenzi from AS Roma. This is Valencia's first arrival in the winter transfer market which closes tomorrow (January 31st).


The loan deal does not include a purchase option as was the case with loan deals in recent times for Valencia. The player will return to AS Roma at the end of the season (June 30th, 2020).

This signing leaves Valencia with 4 right-backs in the team - Florenzi, Correia, Piccini and Wass. Piccini is currently in the last phase of recovering from his long term injury and should be back one or two weeks into February. Wass provided versatility and adapted from his midfield role into the right-back role as a response to that injury and the lack of an alternative. Correia was signed to ease and grow into this role and eventually take over in the future but has so far not impressed.

Moving forward, it is expected that Florenzi will be the main starter for this role, at least until Piccini returns and Celades can evaluate them both to meet the needs of the team. Celades has not had the opportunity to work with Piccini prior to this due to the injury. Some will points out that Piccini did not perform before his injury but it remains to be seen if the new coach can get something out of him. This also means that Wass will hardly feature as right-back once Piccini returns. Instead, he will probably return to the midfield role as a replacement for Parejo. As for Correia, it was reported that the club has been actively seeking to find an outlet for him and has assigned Mendes to the case but they are having difficulty finding any demand, which is quite concerning quite frankly.

Florenzi has already started training with the team but will likely not be ready to play this Saturday's La Liga fixture against Celta Vigo.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Close of the transfer window near

The close of the transfer window is imminent. Barring any late surprises, it's a transfer window that went past without any major departures to annoy the fans. Neto left after an apparent fall-out with Marcelino, but was replaced by Cillessen, who most of us regard as an upgrade. Santi Mina left and was replaced by Maxi Gomez, who the jury is still out on, as it's too early to say. Valencia also picked up several young players: Jorge Saenz, Salva Ruiz, Manu Vallejo and Jason, as well as making Cheryshev's loan permanent and bringing in Costa and Mangala on loan. Other departures were limited to unwanted players: Abdennour, Vezo and Murillo.

There are 3 last day movements.

Thierry Correia joins from Sporting Lisbon, covering Piccini's 5-month injury lay-off. As recently as yesterday, there had been talk that no one would join to cover, which seemed a high risk, with no natural right back there. The question mark will be about the price, with Valencia paying 12 million (with another 3m in variables possible) and giving him a 100 million release clause.


The club had tried to sign Hysaj, a more established player, but Napoli played hardball and ultimately, Valencia was unwilling to go to 20 million or beyond. Correia has done well with Portugal youth teams, but has very few club starts. Labelled as the "new Cancelo" time will tell whether he lives up to his promise or proves to be an ill-advised panic buy. Valencia has, of course, been weak at right back for some time and none of the recent holders (Barragan, Montoya, Vezo, Nacho Vidal, Cancelo or Piccini) did that well there. 12 million represents a significant gamble and it remains to be seen whether he can step up to the challenge of La Liga and UEFA CL.

Next are two departures, both slightly surprising. Jason joins Getafe on a season's loan. With Valencia weakened on the right by the injuries to Piccini and Soler, I would have expected him to stay.

Even more surprisingly and a bit ruthlessly, Salva Ruiz' return to Valencia proved short-lived. Just 9 weeks and a day after he returned, the club cancelled his contract and he joins Deportivo Corunya, with Valencia having a percentage of any future sale.

Those departures mean that three of the four young players who joined us in the summer have left, with only Manu Vallejo remaining. It all seems badly planned and a bit of a scattergun approach.

***Update*** Having failed to find a club for him during the transfer window, Valencia cancelled Alvaro Medran's contract. It would have expired next summer anyway so either way the club wasn't going to get any transfer fee for him.

Overall, no major departures, and a net spend of 56 million euros, though 35 of that comes from Cillesen's buy, with the Neto money going into last season's account. Despite that, I think most of our fans will be fairly frustrated by this window. We were strongly linked with Rafinha and Denis Suarez, both of whom have joined Celta. Other names like Mariano Diaz, Hysaj, Angel Correa and Otamendi caused interest, but ultimately came to nothing, though many will be relieved that Mendes players like Andre Silva or Radamel Falcao didn't join.

Rodrigo, as always, will remain a divisive figure. Many of our support were happy that he was leaving, and 60 million seemed a good price. Yet, even though the deal seemed to be done it didn't happen. There was always the question of who would replace him and worry about the effect on the team if he left so late in the transfer window, after the season start.

The biggest issue is that all of our rivals, both the big three and the fourth placed contenders, have strengthened, and therefore, by staying still, Valencia slips behind in relative terms. The mini-civil war that the club had in the summer seems to have had its effects and they're not good for Valencia. We can only hope that players like Correia, Maxi Gomez and Manu Vallejo do fulfil their promise.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Official: Valencia CF loan Jaume Costa from Villareal CF

Valencia CF have officially announced a loan deal for Villareal CF left-back Jaume Costa. The 31-year old will be the back-up left-back for Gaya this season. This loan deal is 1-year deal spanning until June 30, 2020.


There were some reports that Didac-Vila would be the chosen left-back, however, this seems to have fallen through with Marcelino presumed to have pushed for Jaume Costa instead. Jaume Costa started his career with the Valencia B team. He has played in Spain throughout his careers with a loan for Cadiz before joining Villareal B in 2010 and then made the jump to the first team in 2012 where he has played since.

Expecting some announcement with respect to Rodrigo soon with the player reportedly having said goodbye to the teammates and staff already.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Official: Valencia CF loan Eliaquim Mangala from Manchester City

Valencia CF just released an official statement announcing the return of Manchester City defender Eliaquim to Valencia. This will be the defender's second loan spell at Valencia having featured beside Garay in the 2016-17 season where he scored 2 goals.


The deal is a loan deal spanning 2-years, taking us to June 2021. Mangala will complete Marcelino's 4-man defense alongside Garay, Paulista and Diakhaby. This puts Javi Jiminez in a situation where he has to either agree to stay sidelined or be loaned elsewhere to get some minutes.

Mangala's contract with Manchester City was until June 2020 so this effectively means we have the option of signing the 28-year old defender for free. In addition, he has taken a pay-cut in wages to facilitate the move.

There was concern of an injury for Mangala since he struggled with it at Everton where he was loaned last season. As such, the signing was contingent on the medical check-up which Mangala has now successfully completed.

Expecting left-back Jaume Costa signing from Villareal coming up soon with deal reportedly finalized also.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Valencia sign Maxi Gomez / Mina and Abdennour leave

Valencia have made official the signing of Maxi G√≥mez. 

He joins on a 5-year contract with a 140 million release clause. Valencia identified the player as a signing back in April and hoped to get the deal done in time for the transfer window opening, but Celta delayed in order to see if he did anything at Copa America and then strong competition from West Ham, who were offering at least double the salary that we were, led to a drawn out transfer saga which has thankfully been resolved in our favour. As part of the deal Santi Mina leaves and rejoins Celta with Jorge Saenz also going there on loan and Valencia paying 14.5m, with a possible 1.5m more performance related. 

I called last year for Maxi to be signed, 

so I'm really happy about this signing.

There are a surprising number of our fans who seem to be against this. The main arguments seem to be
  •  Mina has better stats
  • The cost is too much, we'd have been better signing Borja Iglesias
  • Gomez doesn't do so well without Aspas
I think the cost is a fair price and as for Mina vs Maxi comparisons, those need to be seen in the context of Celta being fairly rubbish the last few seasons. Apart from Aspas, Pione Sisto and Wass were the only players capable of supplying chances. At Valencia he will have Guedes, Parejo, Soler etc providing chances. Time will tell, but after the Batshuayi fiasco the club has gone for a player proven in La Liga and the only players who have scored more in the last two seasons are Messi, Luis Suarez, Griezmann, Aspas and Stuani, all of whom are too old or unattainable. The fact that he has turned down a much bigger wage in England is a positive sign and already wins him points in my book.

The slight negative in this is the loss of Santi Mina, who'd proved himself a useful third option up front in recent times. Mina joined us at the start of July 2015 having impressed with Celta, leading Valencia to pay his buy-out clause of 10 million, with Mina refusing a new contract in order to sign for us, something which annoyed Celta fans as much as Alcacer's exit annoyed ours. Mina's early times at Valencia were really disappointing. Used up front either on the right or left of a 4-3-3 he struggled to make an impact and it wasn't until his 14th game that he scored, hitting a late equaliser against Barcelona. He repeated the feat later that season, scoring the winner at Barcelona, capping off a 22-pass move. (Incidentally, it got lost in the euphoria, but Valencia's first in the Copa final came after a 16-pass move, when it comes to tika-taka, Valencia can beat Barcelona at their own game.) That season also saw his best game in a Valencia shirt, scoring two and assisting three in a 6-0 rout of Vienna in Europe. He also scored what I think was one of his best, sprinting the length of the pitch to score the winner at Granada.   

Despite that, his stats and performances remained disappointing until the arrival of Marcelino. Like Rodrigo, he benefitted from playing more central, improving his performances and scoring more frequently, even overtaking Zaza in the pecking order at the end of 2017-18. However, last season saw him behind either Batshuayi or Gameiro to partner Rodrigo and ultimately it's understandable that he wants to head back to his boyhood club where he'll be guaranteed starter.

Lastly, the week just gone saw the departure of Aymen Abdennour. He arrived at Valencia on the back of strong performances with Monaco for 21.8 million as the replacement of Otamendi. It quickly became apparent that he was nowhere near that level as a series of horror shows gifted goals to opposition teams. It didn't help that his defensive partner was often the equally useless Aderllan Santos and together they made up what was probably Valencia's worst defensive duo this century. After 29 appearances in his first season, he saw injuries in his second but was gradually phased out under Voro. The only time he ever looked remotely useful was under Prandelli, but that was because there was a back three with Garay cleaning up after him. Valencia loaned him out to Marseilles, hoping to get back at least half of what we paid, but he also flopped there and in the end the club has just cut its losses and let him go to Kayerispor of Turkey on a free. Thus ends one of the worst signings of recent years. I think the signing of players like Gomez instead of such costly flops shows the progress the club has made. 




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:

BATE 2-3 PSV
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?