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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Michel Herrero transfers to Getafe

Michel Herrero hasn't had a good time at Valencia CF, ever since he was promoted from the youth team he hasn't experienced good times at Valencia CF, so he spent 2 years loaned out and then sold to Levante where he finally impressed the club with his performances and the club activated his buy-back clause. But it wasn't to be, as the first coach Djukic and later Pizzi barely used him and he was relegated seating on the bench or not even selected for the squad.

Time has now come for Michel to basically move on, so he joins Getafe on a 2 year loan deal, by the end of it he would become a free agent as his contract with Valencia CF expires in July 2016.

After the arrival of Gomes from Benfica he has been deemed surplus to requirements and new coach Nuno hasn't been too impressed him, but there also needs to be space created for at least 3 more new players arriving at Valencia CF.

Jeremy Mathieu is also on the exit door, he will likely be leaving for Barcelona as they look ready to pay out his 20 million release clause. Ricardo Costa has also rescinded his contract with Valencia CF, so he is a free agent, and this means Valencia CF are going to be looking for a new central defender, as the club is left with only 3 right now in Victor Ruiz, Nicolas Otamendi and Ruben Vezo.

Valencia CF could pursue Antunes

After the unexpected departure of Bernat to Bayern Munich, there has been a complication in the left-back position. Even with three players, Gaya, Cissokho and Guardado who are able to play that position, there is an issue with each.

Cissokho does not have the trust of the new coach and is highly likely to be on his way out. The only difficulty is who will take him. Guardado would be playing a position that is not his natural position and that has been limiting his performances. If you watched Mexico at the World Cup, you could see that he has much more potential further up the pitch on the left flank. Gaya seems the ideal candidate to take the spot, however, the management fears it would be too much pressure on him to take on that role alone especially since he is still in the early development stages of his career and just broke into the first team. The expectations on him could be to much to shoulder alone. As such, Valencia CF is looking for a reinforcement for the left-back position this transfer window.

The name that is the most likely right now is 27 year old Portuguese and Malaga left-back, Vitorino Pacheco Antunes. He spent four years at Roma earlier in his career but was loaned out for the entire time (he didn't get any playing time for Roma) to four separate clubs. He then spent a year playing in Greece, after which he joined Malaga on loan and later sold to Malaga for 1.25 million euros (he would probably come cheap). He was part of the Malaga squad that reached the quarter final of the 2012-2013 edition of the Champions league.

Valencia CF has been monitoring him and has reportedly notified the player of their interest. The player shares the interest in Valencia CF and seems really excited to join the team as part of this new project. However, he knows the situation at left-back and knows he has 2 maybe 3 competitors. As such, he would agree to join if room is made for him.

What do you think of Antunes? Good or bad idea? Any other suggestions?

Valencia CF and Barcelona agree Mathieu deal

Well, this game of cat and mouse was bound to come to an end and so it does. Valencia CF gave Mathieu and ultimatum which gave Barcelona has till Tuesday to cough up the 20 million euros (his release clause) and if it doesn't then he will start training as normal, no more sitting and waiting. This has reportedly worked as Barcelona have raised the 16 million euros offer to 20 million euros. In fact the signing is set to be announced tomorrow with Mathieu to be presented on the same day.

With that Valencia CF get their money and their terms in this deal, and Barcelona get their center back as requested by their new coach Luis Enrique. Mathieu also just got his dream transfer to cap off his career. Just got to say Bravo to President Salvo for fighting till the very end. That's the type of commitment I wanted to see.

 Mathieu has had a good time in Valencia CF. Under Emery, he was part of a great combination on the left flank with Jordi Alba, where the two would play there seamlessly and interchangeably. Now the two find themselves on the same team again. It was only recently that Mathieu was used a center back, (I think it was under Valverde that tried it first). He has had solid performances this year and took over the captain's role from Costa. With this, we also lose our third center back following Costa and Rami. With Ruiz probably on the way out too, we need major work on defense.

Any thoughts on Mathieu? His transfer? Good move or bad move? Any good memories you have of his time at Valencia CF? Any ideas for replacements to our defense?

Rodrigo passes medical

Rodrigo has passed his medical for Valencia CF today. He arrived yesterday and spent the evening in Valencia. Now his father is negotiating the terms of the deal with all that is missing is the player's signature. The deal should be announced soon.

Official: Ricardo Costa contract terminated

Ricardo Costa is  the 2nd player  out of Valencia CF this transfer window with the club terminating his contract today. The 33 year old Portuguese defender joined in 2010 from Wolfsburg and has earned the respect of his team and coach and became captain of Valencia CF. His contract was due to expire in June 2015 but he didn't fit into Nuno's plans, and so his contract was terminated. Costa took this in good sporting manner and thanked the club for giving him so many good moments. Despite his declining form, he did give a lot to the team during his four years, great headers and even some solid performances. There was certainly no lack of effort on his part, I guess age had its toll on him. His commitment to his team was evident, and he had a good time in defense at the World Cup. The picture on the left sum's it up. Head held high and proud to be a Valencianista.

All the best to the captain! And a big thank you! Amunt!

Any thoughts on Ricardo Costa? His departure? Any good memories you have of his time in Valencia CF?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Michel out, Tiago Mendes in?

As I said in the previous post, this is the decisive week for squad selection by new coach Nuno. He specified that he wants 5 different central midfielders. So far that is: Javi Fuego, Michel, Parejo, Banega and Andre Gomes.

Michel could be one of those on their way out, especially now with Getafe interested in taking him on loan. This would be the third loan period for Michel in his two spells at Valencia CF. The previous two were to Deportivo (one year) and Hercules (one year), then he was sold to Levante, after which Valencia CF activated the buy-back option. However, Michel hasn't impressed either Djukic or Pizzi. He did get some playing time under Djukic at first but spent long periods on the bench after. He barely showed glimpsed of the form he had while playing for Levante. Although you could argue that the form of the other midfielders kept him out, especially with Seydou Keita and Romeu available this past season as well.

Now we come to the replacement. He is 33 year old Portuguese midfielder Tiago Mendes. His contract for Atletico expired this year and he was all set to move to Chelsea. However, licensing issues have got in the way of the signing and Tiago now has to wait for them to be resolved or renew with Atletico Madrid. His agent gave him a third option by offering him to Valencia CF. Atletico Madrid are offering more wages that Valencia CF (his wages are outrageously high, about 5 million euros per season). Valencia CF have offered less money but a guarantee a two-year contract. Tiago insists that he wants a two year contract (which the would have got under Chelsea) as well as wanting to work as part of the coaching staff when his contact is up. Tiago had 24 appearances for Diego Simeone's La Liga winning side.

Any thoughts on Tiago Mendes? Is he an upgrade or downgrade from Michel? Do you support loaning Michel? If not Tiago, who should replace him?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Decisive squad selection week

The 3-1 loss to Nurnberg yesterday brings an end to Valencia CF's Germany-based part of the preseason. In the two preseason friendlies we got a chance to see every Valencia CF player with the exception of those on the World Cup squads as well as Mathieu, who is hoping for a move to Barcelona. Some players met expectations, others impressed and a few disappointed. The final word though goes to coach Nuno, who will finalize his squad selection before traveling to Peru. The members of the squad that travels to South America will be the ones that Nuno has plans for, and will rely on this season. Everyone else, will be not be joining on the trip and will be told try their luck elsewhere.

This will also be a crucial week for Mathieu who's future will also be resolved this week. It simply has to be. He cannot stay on the bench like this for every preseason game. The coach needs to know if he can count on him or should a replacement be brought in. Apparently, Nuno has said that the issue will indeed be settled this week so we can look forward to that.

So who has impressed you in these two games? Who disappointed? What's your starting line-up in a 4-4-2 formation?