Friday, 27 May 2011

Two in, two out - so far

Transfer season has started early at the Coliseum this year, with four changes already having taken place before June begins.


Captain Manu del Moral has finally left Getafe after five years in Madrid, heading back to his native Andalucia with Sevilla. The fee is rumoured to be around €4.5m - a price more than fair for one whose contract was fast expiring. El capitán will be much-missed in the dressing room and by the fans, too, because even during moments of poor form his spirit and positive attitude never wavered.

Juan Ángel Albín is a trickier one. The young Uruguayan had sufficient talent to be linked with AC Milan last summer, but instead he finds himself as Espanyol. I had originally thought him out of contract, but in fact he had a year left and thus the Perequitos have had to shell out €3m for his services. That's a considerable sum for a player who, despite his natural abilities, never really came out of his shell at the Coliseum. For me this is a fine piece of business: even if he goes on to be the player we think he can be it's still best to cash in rather than take the risk. Juan leaves after spending, like Manu, five years in the blue shirt.


First to come is Mehdi Lacen. The France-born Algerian international has signed on for four years with Geta, bringing to an end three years with Racing Santander. The 27-year-old defensive midfielder has spent virtually his entire career in Spain, having previously served Alavés for three years.

His arrival signals - at least according to Marca - the end to Derek Boateng's time at the Coliseum. It is thought that club president Ángel Torres is ready to sell the Ghanaian to the highest bidder, most likely a member of the Premier League. That will be a massive blow for next season: Boateng was the most composed player in the squad by far and while Lacen is not a bad player his skills on the ball do not match those of the former AIK man.

Allegedly already signed is Diego Castro, an exciting winger-cum-forward last of Sporting Gijón. This one isn't 100% confirmed yet, but the Galician wide man will likely take up a position on the left flank, from which his specialty is to cut inside and score goals.

Still to come?

Long before Deportivo slumped towards relegation, much of their out-of-contract contingent had been linked with a switch to the capital. Chief among these was Alberto Lopo. The dependable centre-back would make a fine partner for either Mario or Cata Díaz and is thought to be inches away from officially signing on for Getafe.

In midfield Juan Rodríguez is another candidate for the central role currently occupied by Derek Boateng: , and while Rodríguez has plenty of experience and drive he lacks the class of the former AIK man. Anontio Tomás, Rodríguez's sometime-partner and often-understudy at the Riazor, is another player who could yet join Getafe from the Galicians. Seemingly we can never have too many defensive midfielders...

Also, sporting director Toni Múñoz has extended his deal, with coach Míchel's future hanging in the balance. Torres and Múñoz will meet to discuss the ex-Real Madrid man's future over the coming days.

Update: Míchel is gone, and Luis Enrique will not be taking over. Luis García of Levante is the front-runner.


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