Now, here’s a surprise. For days, his departure has been a given, but on Monday Oscar Ahumada, who’s been arguing with River Plate’s directors about his contractual status for over a week, agreed to a contract extension with the Núñez club which will see him remain with the champions for the foreseeable future. The exact details of the contract aren’t known – it’s not yet been signed as this story goes out – but it’s a surprising end (if indeed it is an end) to one of the sagas of the post-season. The second-best Argentine player in a foreign league, meanwhile, might be on his way to hook up with the best (as chosen by HEGS readers), if Monday’s newspaper reports are anything to go by…
Following a two hour talk with River officials on Friday, Ahumada is reportedly close to putting pen to paper on a new contract prior to travelling to the Uruguayan beach resort of Punta del Este, where he’ll join the rest of Diego Simeone’s squad for pre-season. The manager had already started to plan for the season without Ahumada, but his inclusion surely won’t be seen as too much of a blow to the squad – the deep-lying midfielder was one of the key players in River’s successful title campaign during the 2008 Clausura. Whilst the final details have yet to be ironed out, it suddenly seems likely the player will be staying at the Monumental, rather than moving abroad.
No certainties as yet as to River’s reinforcement for the season to come, though. Santiago Salcedo and Nicolás Spolli are both still a while away from signing anything, according to Mario Israel, the River director in charge of talking to the press about the likelihood of players signing contracts. The possibilities of re-signing Roberto Ayala or Ernesto Farías (the latter on loan from Porto) also remain distant, for now.
Manchester United, meanwhile, have been so impressed by Carlos Tevez’s HEGS award-winning season that they’ve decided to bid for one of his countrymen. Sergio Agüero finished a very close second to Tevez in our 2007-2008 award, and if United get their way he could soon be joining Tevez in Manchester. The recent European Cup winners apparently want to make sure that, whether Cristiano Ronaldo goes to Real Madrid or not, they’re not left empty-handed in the summer transfer market, and to that end have told Agüero’s agent that they’d be prepared to meet his €55 million buyout clause at Atlético. Agüero, contracted to Atléti until 2012, has already turned down an offer from Chelsea, but will the attentions of the European champions be a little too much for him to resist?