The transfer merry-go-round begins

Zapata’s lovely new shirt

It seems very quiet this weekend, with no matches to watch. But in the meantime, the transfer market is slowly clicking into gear, with Vélez and Racing the main protagonists so far.

Ricardo La Volpe’s Vélez have beaten Independiente and San Lorenzo to the signature of River midfielder Víctor Zapata. Well, not his actual signature just yet, but as you can see from the picture it’s a done deal after it became apparent to him that he wasn’t part of Passarella’s first eleven at River. La Volpe has praised him for much of the campaign, which was a major factor in his decision to choose Vélez ahead of Independiente or the newly crowned champions.

San Lorenzo, for their part, appear to be after a very ambitious target: Inter striker Julio Cruz. Having won the Serie A title last month, Cruz was in the crowd as a guest of the club for their third to last match of the season, against Argentinos. He’s always had a good relationship with Ramón Díaz (who bought him from Banfield and gave him his River debut whilst in charge of Los Millonarios), and would like the chance to reacquaint himself, if El Ciclón can negotiate something with Inter.

Racing have started early with their reinforcements too, following their embarrassingly bad Clausura. Marcos Cáceres is the first to arrive, a 21-year-old Paraguayan defender who’s signed a one year contract, and will arrive from Cerro Porteño on the 2nd of July. Next came Domingo Salcedo, 23 years of age and a left midfielder, also Paraguayan, who will arrive slightly later (from the same club) because he’s playing for his country in Venezuela in the Copa América. They’ve also set their sights on a goalkeeper, since Sergio Romero is leaving for AZ Alkmaar soon: they want Germán Montoya, who did such a fine job for Belgrano in their, erm, relegation season.

More reassuring news for Racing fans is that living legend Claudio López seems sure to be staying, and the board aren’t making him the limit of their ambitions; when asked on a radio show this morning which ‘top class striker’ they were tracking, president Fernando De Tomaso replied ‘his initials are S.E.,’ and when pressed further reveal ‘Samuel Eto’o.’ It’s fair to say that if Eto’o doesn’t stay at Camp Nou this summer, he probably won’t be turning up at El Cilindro. So who’s Tomaso really after?


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