Valencia are approaching the final stages of preseason as the team is gathered in full in the German location of Kamen. With the return of Otamendi to the squad, Nuno for the first time has the entirety of the team at his disposal, bar the injured Alves and Andre Gomes.
The Argentine returned as scheduled to Valencia on Sunday and have been the center of focus for many this week. Hope and speculation in British media that the player would refuse to train seem to have been largely based on guesswork. Nuno interestingly went back to his standard 4-3-3 formation as soon as his main defense man returned. Leading the defense in training, Otamendi did not seem especially bothered about all the speculation. Yesterday the player also had a chat with Nuno who transmitted his strong confidence in the player and that he saw him still as a fundamental part of the team. The Argentine confirmed to his manager that he is at his disposal and have no other intention than to train well and give his best. “I am at your disposal, and if there is no offer that convinces the club, my team is Valencia”, the player told Nuno. Reports in England further pushes a potential move away, as United is said to have lost interest as van Gaal was not convinced. Bayern München is however now said to have made an enquiry to Eugenio López, the players agent.
The other big topic this week has been the future of striker Álvaro Negredo. When Nuno famously claimed “he who will arrive is the bomb!”, few had predicted such a brief stint at the club. Negredo largely failed to impress during last season, and even though it might have been expected that he’d struggle in the first half, Nuno was likely very disappointed at the second half. Already last season, the manager seemed to start loosing faith in the player and it has now emerged he asked for the player to be sold early June in the meeting where Salvo, Rufete and Nuno discussed plans. Now it seems Valencia is offering the player around with Arsenal and Liverpool being mentioned. Negredo seems to currently be Nuno’s 4th choice after Paco Alcácer, Rodrigo and Santi Mina all getting the nod ahead of him.
Peter Lim to Valencia for Trofeo Naranja
At the 8th of August Valencia will welcome Roma to the traditional presentation match where the Trofeo Naranja is at stake. The Singapore based owner has scheduled a visit at Mestalla for the first time since the match against Celta Vigo.
Valencia reaching for old heights with strong numbers in season ticket sales
During the early 2000’s Valencia built up a pretty loyal base of season ticket holders, or abonos, reaching above 40.000 steadily every year. With the arrival of Manolo Llorente as president and various sales of players, cuts in the offers combined with the financial crises, numbers dwindled down to around 30.000, arrows only pointing downwards. With the ascension of Amadeo Salvo to the same post, numbers improved for the first time in the 2010’s and now finally the club is within reach of crossing the 40.000 barrier again.More than 37000 have renewed their season tickets already, and Mestalla saw large lines for new holders yesterday.
Rodrigo Caio leaves Gestifute after transfer mess
When Valencia announced the signing of Rodrigo Caio to many’s surprise (including large parts of the club’s technical staff), a saga that continued for a couple of weeks was initiated. For many a showcase example of how football has turned into an agent run business, Caio failed a medical at Valencia only to pop up at Atletico Madrid days later to have a new medical. With the Calderón side only wanting a loan however, the player decided to rather stay at Sao Paulo. After a round trip in Europe it now seems that the player will look for other representation when the Gestifute contract expires in September. Luizão, the former player now working for Gestifute, confirmed the news and without criticizing the player, he also made it clear that he thought the player should have taken the chance on a move to Europe.
Keeper situation changes
Jaume Domenech, the Valencia born goalie, looks set to stay at the club, at least until January. With strong efforts and convincing play during the training sessions in preseason, Jaume has managed to convince Nuno and overtake Yoel for the spot behind Mathew Ryan. With primary suitor Córdoba now looking at other targets, options of leaving also seem slim. Yoel on the other hand is thought to have several teams interested, and Valencia will look to offload the former Celta man to make room for newly crowned U19 European champion Antonio Sivera, who will train with the first team and play for Mestalla.
Fran Villalba impresses Nuno
One of the surprises this preseason has been Nuno’s decision to include Villalba as one of the youngsters regularly training with the first team. Having only just ascended from Baraja’s Juvenil team to Mestalla, it was expected it would take longer before he got any opportunities. Now, the player seems to opt for a more regular place at the first team being one of the more praised players the last weeks.