Piatti goes to Europe, Cardozo considers his options and Aguilar starts dreaming…

With the Clausura effectively over before the final weekend for Estudiantes and Boca Juniors as well as newly-crowned champions River Plate, the summer transfer market has already begun. River boss Diego Simeone wants to bring in a new goalkeeper, and has set his sights on Atlético de Madrid’s Leo Franco, whilst Boca and Estudiantes are both saying goodbye to stars of recent campaigns: Neri Cardozo is analysing a number of options to play in Europe or Mexico, whilst El Pincha‘s 19-year-old forward Pablo Piatti is off to Spain…

River’s current goalkeeper, Juan Pablo Carrizo, is expected to return to Rome when the season finishes, the presumption being that Lazio will have sorted out the passport issue which forced them to loan him back to his former club six months after buying him. To replace him, Simeone wants to bring in Atléti goalie Franco, and José María Aguilar, the club president, has already said River will do everything in their power to oblige the manager. River are finalising a financial deal with Spanish side Villarreal which will see the Castellón club take a 50% stake in six River players, and this is where the money for the deal would come from. Franco is contracted to Atlético for another year, but Aguilar told Spanish sports daily Marca that River would try to convince him to return ‘for the final years of his career.’ You may have to wait a while, José; 30 isn’t that old for a ‘keeper…

Neri Cardozo is getting itchy feet at La Bombonera after interest has been shown in him by a number of foreign sides. Since Carlos Ischia took over as manager, Cardozo has failed to hold down a regular place, with Jesús Dátolo and Pablo Ledesma generally preferred to him in midfield, and it seems Boca are going to allow the player, 22 in August, to examine his options. There’s reported interest from Ramón Díaz at América in Mexico, as well as a number of European clubs: Galatasaray of Turkey, Olympiakos in Greece, Dutch giants Ajax and Borussia Mönchengladbach, recently returned to the German top flight, all want him. Boca won’t let him go cheap, though – they want at least US$ 4 million for him.

Piatti, who marked his Estudiantes debut with a vital late headed goal and way key in the subsequent run-in to the title win of the 2006 Apertura, has been brilliant for both club and his country’s Under 20s ever since, and it was only a matter of time before he travelled to Europe. Almería, who finished eighth in the 2007-2008 Spanish first division, have beaten Manchester City and Juventus to his signature (according to their own website), and will pay a total of €7.5 million for his registration, of which Estudiantes will see about €5 million (one-third of the player’s registration was previously owned by his agent, Renato Cesarini). 

5 thoughts on “Piatti goes to Europe, Cardozo considers his options and Aguilar starts dreaming…

  1. Leo Franco, eh? River could do worse, but honestly from the little I’ve seen of Juan Marcelo Ojeda, I think he deserves a chance. He’s not Carrizo, but then neither is Franco. I’d rather see this money used to hold onto Falcao.

    Sam, any idea who these 6 River players are Villereal will have a 50% stake in? I’m guessing Abelairas and Buonanotte would be included.

  2. Good luck to Neri wherever he ends up. Nice player but with limited skills (he can shoot and that is about it, and has a tough time setting himself up-like a back up shooting guard in basketball who has to rely on screens all the time).

  3. Gregory Coupet just signed a 3-year deal with Atletico, so if Leo Franco wasn’t on his way out, he is now. I guess this could really happen, if River really do have the money.

  4. Justin, Clarin said that Abelairas and Cabral were two of the players in the Villarreal deal. I think the others were younger players who weren’t first team regulars yet.

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