Claudio Bieler – a Copa Libertadores winner with Liga de Quito in 2008 – might be coming home. José Sand, currently leading the scoring charts in the high-paying league of the United Arab Emirates, might also return, and Lanús are adamant that if it’s to them, Eduardo Salvio will be around too, in spite of Atlético de Madrid’s interest. Oh, and Enzo Trossero has left the managerial post at Godoy Cruz before pre-season has even begun, after just six matches in charge under mysterious circumstances. The big story, though, is that champions Banfield might soon be without leading goalscorer Santiago Silva – who’s wanted by Russia’s Rubin Kazan, Roma of Italy, and two Mexican sides, América and Monterrey.
Silva is already at the twelfth club of his career with Banfield, but could now make it thirteen if an offer from outside Argentina tempts him sufficiently. it’s understood that he’s keen on playing the 2010 Copa Libertadores with Banfield, but his only previous spells in Europe were with (relatively) smaller sides in Germany (Energie Cottbus) and Portugal (Beira-Mar), so the lure of the Italian capital or the economically powerful double Russian champions could prove too much.
It’s unclear whether Lanús, River Plate or Racing are closest to signing Bieler, who spearheaded Liga de Quito’s frontline in 2008 when they claimed an unlikely Copa Libertadores trophy, becoming the first Ecuadorian club to do so. Having announced last week that he’d love to return to his homeland, Bieler had a bizarrely indecisive day on Monday. At midday he was telling a radio station; ‘The chance to play for River is a very seductive idea.’ In mid-afternoon; ‘I’ve been informed of Racing’s interest. To be honest, I like that idea.’ And in the evening; ‘My agent told me Lanús were interested and the truth is I’d like that a lot.’ You can’t play for all of them at once, Claudio…
Sand, according to his own declarations during his holiday in Corrientes, could soon be coming back to Lanús (or to San Lorenzo or Boca Juniors) from Al Ain, where he currently heads the Emirati scoring charts with ten goals. He’s told Olé that, ‘Lanús are able to pay my contract. San Lorenzo, although they’ve had their economic problems, could do as well. Boca too. The tricky thing is with the Emirates. Even with all the money they’ve got…’ Even with all that money, he doesn’t sound a happy man.
For now Nicolás Russo, Lanús president, is equally preoccupied with keeping hold of Eduardo Salvio. The young attacking midfielder was being tracked by Atlético de Madrid and, following Diego Buonanotte’s accident on Boxing Day, it seems the Spanish club have decided he’s their man. Or not. ‘The truth is,’ Russo told the press on Monday, ‘they don’t want to pay the €10 million they mentioned, so it’s not happening. [Salvio] will play the Copa [Libertadores] with Lanús.’
And in Mendoza there’s intrigue following Enzo Trossero’s departure from the Godoy Cruz managership. Whether Trossero walked himself, or was sacked, depends on which Godoy Cruz director you trust at present. It seems more likely that he was pushed out after a personality clash though – he’s been in charge for only six matches (admittedly, he’s yet to win, with three losses and three draws), and his requested transfer targets were reportedly well on their way. It’s possible he asked for a new calibre of reinforcement, which the club couldn’t stretch to. Whatever’s happened, Godoy Cruz will be going into the Clausura with yet another new manager.
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