Luciano Leguizamón’s freezing out at Gimnasia La Plata is almost at an end, after the club stated that they were prepared to let him move to Arsenal de Sarandí. Leguizamón’s ‘crime’ was asking Juan Sebastián Verón to swap shirts with him after Estudiantes had beaten Gimnasia in the La Plata derby during the Apertura. Yes, really. Elsewhere, Newell’s may also be losing a player, and Tigre boss Diego Cagna is enjoying some new-found respect…
Leguizamón will be a much-needed addition to Arsenal’s squad, after various contracts ending and transfers in the wake of the Copa Sudamericana win have left them with only two of the strikers who were in their first-team squad for the Apertura (José Luis Calderón and Leonardo Biagini). He’s turned down offers from clubs in Colombia and Ecuador to go to Sarandí. Manager Gustavo Alfaro’s search for forwards won’t end here, but he has at least ticked off one of the items on his shopping list.
Newell’s will be rather less happy than Gimnasia are at the prospect of losing one of their players. Manager Ricardo Caruso Lombardi had listed Cristian Ansaldi as ‘non-transferable’, and the defender even recently signed a four year contract extension. Interest has now arrived, however, from Europe, with clubs in Spain, Italy and Portugal reportedly interested. The names of those clubs, and the exact details of the offers, haven’t been made public yet, though a fee of a little over €8 million is being bandied about. Caruso’s already looking for a replacement.
Happier times on the delta of the Río Paraná, where Tigre boss Diego Cagna hasn’t got transfer complications or any other worries for the moment. As his side returned for pre-season training, he told the press that he felt opposing teams ‘now respect us more than at the start of the Apertura.’ When Tigre were promoted, everyone thought they’d be struggling against relegation – even those who thought they might have had a chance never predicted the second-place finish they eventually claimed in the competition.
Cagna, when asked if his side could repeat the feat in the Clausura, replied, ‘Yes, they can do it. It’s difficult to know if we’ll get there… What we know is that we’re going to work with the same motivation, the hunger, humility and seriousness we’ve already shown.’ The side know, of course, that another good campaign could well see them qualify for one – or both – of next season’s continental cup competitions, but he insists that for now, the priority is getting enough points on the board to leave them clear of relegation worries for this season, and that there’s no ‘plan B’ if they find themselves in another spectacularly high position come June.