River Plate are doing a bit of restructuring following Diego Simeone’s entrance as manager, and that started in earnest today with one of the players the new manager had reportedly requested before signing his contract – Uruguayan striker Sebastián Abreu. Meanwhile, if the Copa Libertadores squad list of Brazilian giants Fluminense is anything to go by, River could be about to lose a player they surely can’t be trying to push out – Radamel Falcao García.
Abreu will arrive on a free, pending the agreement of the FMF (Federación Mexicana de Fútbol), who had previously announced a transfer embargo on River which all their members agreed to participate in. River president José María Aguilar has a verbal OK on the matter from the head of the FMF, and it’s a hard one for the Mexican federation to enforce because Abreu’s registration is owned by the player himself, and not by his current club Tigres. According to his agent, the 31-year-old, who’s averaged more than a goal every two games in a 459-match-and-counting career, is about to make River his thirteenth club.
Fluminense, meanwhile, could be about to throw a dampener on River fans’ new year fireworks with the news that they’ve included the Colombian striker Falcao García in their squad for the 2008 Copa Libertadores. ‘But he doesn’t play for you!’ opposing fans protested. Ah, but he will: ‘President Robert Horcades guarantees that [Darío] Conca, Falcao García and Fabinho have all reached verbal agreements,’ explains the club’s website, referring to the three ‘squad members’ who’ve not yet actually been signed. Will it be on striker in and one out for River, or is this a smokescreen from the Brazilians?