More new arrivals

River, Huracán and San Lorenzo all welcomed new signings on Wednesday, with Boca suffering a minor injury setback to their pre-season training schedule. Meanwhile, Independiente have had another hard day in training following Germán Denis’s dog attack on Monday, and Germán Herrera, the Argentine striker who’s just signed for recently relegated Corinthians in Brazil, receiving a somewhat backhanded compliment from his new manager…

River Plate welcomed Gustavo Cabral, the centre-back who joins them, as expected, from Racing after the Núñez side beat off competition from Vélez and Estudiantes for his signature. Cabral signed his new contract in the presence of club president José María Aguilar and vice-president Mario Israel, before making his way to Mar del Plata this evening where he’ll be ready to start taking orders from Diego Simeone (who briefly coached Cabral a couple of years ago at the start of his managerial career with Racing). River have paid US$1.5 million for 50% of Cabral’s registration.

Huracán have signed their third player of the summer, in spite of Carlos Babington’s continued presence as chairman. Francisco Maciel, for some reason, wanted to play under his former Racing team-mate Claudio Ubeda at El Globo, even though he knows he may not have hot water in the showers or indeed be paid for long stretches. Maciel joins his fellow ex-Racing player, full-back Carlos Arano, at Parque Patricios, and is expected, in Babington’s words, ‘to give us the balance we need in the middle of the park.’ Huracán are also in ongoing talks with Federico Lussenhoff, who’s talking to his current employers River Plate to allow him to leave, and Unión de Santa Fe striker Paulo Rosales.

San Lorenzo’s squad had their first day of training alongside new team-mate, ex-selección favourite Diego Placente. And it seemed to be good vibes all round, as Placente waxed lyrical about the situation he’s found the club in, and in particular about his new boss Ramón Díaz. ‘Ramón convinced me very quickly to come here. I had chances to stay in Europe, but they weren’t too clear and the people at San Lorenzo treated me very well.’ When asked by TyC Sports whether San Lorenzo’s main aim was the Clausura or Copa Libertadores, Placente barely blinked; ‘we’re going to go for both of them.’ Placente has signed for two years, with a clause in his contract that allows him to leave should an offer come in for him from a non-Argentine club.

Boca have had a very minor scare, as first-choice goalie Mauricio Caranta broke a bone in one of his left fingers in training on Wednesday. Fortunately for the Xeneize, it’s pre-season and he’s only expected to be out for a little over two weeks – hardly a threat to their championship campaign. One small worry, though, is that he’s now doubtful for the year’s first superclásico, on the 26th January in Mar del Plata. Watch this space…

Independiente’s hard times in training continue with their squad being put through an eight kilometre (slightly less than five miles) jog in scorching heat during their morning training session – that’s eight kilometres on the beach. This was followed by a short break for lunch before another hard training session in the afternoon – at least this one was actually on a proper training surface. Germán Denis would probably have preferred even a visit to the local kennels.

And finally, Germán Herrera was a rather underwhelmed boy following his first press conference after joining Corinthians, Brazil’s second-most supported club. The Timão won the title two years ago with Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano starring, but have since fallen to pieces and were relegated from the top flight at the end of the 2007 season. Herrera, joining from Gimnasia La Plata, was criticised by some of the assembled Brazilian hacks for missing too many chances, but ‘defended’ – in a way – by his new manager Menezes.

‘I know that Herrera is known as “almost goal”,’ Menezes began, ‘but the majority of really quick forwards, as in the case of the Argentine [he means Herrera rather than Argentine forwards in general, I think], miss chances. If this type of forward scored all the chances that came their way, matches would all finish with futsal scores. Attackers like this are important to add variety to our attack.’ Herrera already knows Brazilian football after a spell at Grêmio in 2006. No doubt he’ll be over the moon with his manager’s confidence in his ability…


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