Since Sergio Batista’s Argentina squad list was made official on Monday, it’s been strongly hinted that one particular change would be made, and so it has come to pass. In a move that frankly makes one wonder why the Estudiantes midfielder was named in the first place, Enzo Pérez has been replaced in the squad to face Portugal by Boca Juniors’ young playmaker Cristian Chávez. Estudiantes had asked Batista not to call up Pérez due to their Copa Libertadores commitments during the same week as the friendly. Boca’s other big news of the day is that Walter Erviti has finally followed his boss Julio César Falcioni from Banfield to La Ribera. Meanwhile there are increasingly loud murmurings that Italy’s naturalised World Cup-winning midfielder (no, I still can’t believe that myself either) Mauro Camoranesi is returning to Buenos Aires to join River Plate. Or Lanús.
Why on earth Pérez was cited by Batista when the Argentina boss already knew the midfielder wouldn’t be able to join the party is something perhaps only the main man will ever know, but all the same Chávez’s call-up represents his first involvement with Argentina’s senior squad. The youngster has had a fair few appearances in Boca’s first team in the last twelve months, aided in his development, perhaps, by Juan Román Riquelme’s ongoing injury problems, but most Boca fans would probably agree he’s not exactly been carrying the team in his mentor’s absence. His involvement in this squad suggests Batista definitely sees him as one for the future, though, and if he can show his good side rather than the less consistent facets of his playing character, it’ll be interesting to see how he does. His chances of actually getting on the pitch, of course, are maybe not that high anyway.
The most protracted domestic transfer story of the summer break has been Walter Erviti’s move from Banfield to Boca Juniors, a transfer which sees him follow his manager Julio César Falcioni, who made the shift almost as soon as the Clausura ended in December. After a lot of protracted negotiating, Banfield finally settled on a fee of around US$3.2 million, and along with Erviti’s stated desire to move to La Bombonera, that proved enough after earlier offers had been rejected. The 30-year-old playmaker, who formerly featured for San Lorenzo (‘de Amargo’, his Wikipedia entry amusingly states) and played over 200 matches for Monterrey in Mexico, is likely to be seen at the very least as taking some of the pressure off Riquelme for another hasty return from injury. Erviti was probably the best playmaker of the Torneo Apertura last year, arguably even outdoing the more heralded Giovanni Moreno (of Racing) for effectiveness, so Boca will be pleased this deal has finally gone through.
Another former Banfield midfielder, Mauro Camoranesi, is also in the transfer headlines tonight. Camoranesi left Stuttgart on Wednesday, the German club having decided to rescind his contract after an inauspicious half season with them since signing from Juventus. Having supported River Plate all his life, Camoranesi – whose Italian naturalisation helped him into his adopted country’s national team squad, with whom he won the 2006 World Cup in spite of not being very good – now wants to end his career with the Núñez giants, for whom he’s never played, and says the pay packet won’t be an issue. ‘He’s got a huge desire to play for River, as he’s a fan of the club, and he has a lot of motivation to make the move happen now, whilst he’s still in good physical condition,’ Camoranesi’s agent Sergio Fortunato told the press on Thursday evening.
Daniel Passarella, River’s president, insists for now that such talk is nothing but rumour. River, though, have only signed one player – San Lorenzo’s attacking midfielder-cum-forward Fabián Bordagaray, on loan – this summer, and the temptation to bring in a World Cup-winner with plenty of experience to play alongside club legend Matías Almeyda in the middle of the park might prove overpowering. Six months ago differences of opinion between Passarella and Fortunato caused the transfer to fall through and the move to Stuttgart to happen. Now, the story might prove different. If the move falls through, Lanús are said to be interested in bringing the 34-year-old in, but for now all eyes are on Passarella.
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Photo taken from ole.clarin.com