Last-minute dealings

On the eve of the Clausura, Argentine clubs have been trying to get through one or two last-minute deals, with Independiente finally signing Freddy Grisales after much coming and going, and Andrés D’Alessandro and Maxi Moralez being unveiled at their respective new (or in Moralez’s case, old) clubs. Arsenal de Sarandí, though, have pulled off the day’s big coup, bringing in San Lorenzo goalkeeper Sebastián Saja.

Grisales had been due to travel to Buenos Aires last week, but failed to get his release from Colón signed in time, and the contract talks with Independiente therefore stalled. He’s now arrived, though, and has signed on in Avellaneda for 18 months. Pedro Troglio’s initial hope was that he’d be fit enough for a place on the bench for Sunday’s game against the champions, Lanús, but whether the midfielder will make that deadline now, time will tell.

D’Alessandro’s unveiling at San Lorenzo was accompanied by many sour grapes from the direction of River Plate, whose president José María Aguilar loudly proclaimed ‘One day he’ll return to River.’ Aguilar was actually referring to Cuervo boss Ramón Díaz, but given the way D’Alessandro’s transfer talks went, he might just as well have been talking about the playmaker. The press conference itself was markedly ‘European’ in style according to El Gráfico, with D’Alessandro presented to the club’s fans prior to the grilling from the journos. He wants to win titles with San Lorenzo, he says. Well, I never.

Similar talk at Racing, where manager Miguel Micó told reporters, among other things, that Maxi Moralez ‘wants to play,’ that he ‘is in good condition,’ and that with him in the side ‘we can create another style of play.’ What interesting things football managers say sometimes.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have pulled a bit of a surprise out of the hat with their signing of San Lorenzo goalkeeper Sebastián Saja. Although not Ramón Díaz’s first-choice, Saja wasn’t expected to leave the Boedo club, but is set to become the fourth reinforcement of Gustavo Alfaro’s summer, following Arsenal’s qualification for the Copa Libertadores group stages this week. All that’s needed is to cross the ‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s of the contract.


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