There’s been some talk lately about this being a transition year and about what not being in Champions League next year will mean for our revenue and resulting budget, with Del Nido hinting that it definitely will result in some amount of selling this summer. Sevilla’s always been a “selling” club, but Del Nido’s comments (and their context) are interesting because they seem to indicate that he’ll be looking to save/earn a fairly big chunk of money at the cost of one of our big dogs. He followed that up fairly quickly with some assurance that Navas isn’t going anywhere, but the media has taken it from there with a few interesting rumors (look, these are all just rumors and are presented here to illustrate that there are a lot of possibilities):
- Maybe Varas is going to Valencia?
- Maybe we’re going to trade Kanoute for Gilardino?
- Is Perotti headed to Liverpool? Or somewhere?
- Is Tottenham going to spend all the money on Negredo?
- We’re going to hire Caparrós to coach, right?
- Is this our new forward?
This stuff goes on basically forever, and it’s mostly all based in nothing. But what is fact is that if (when?) we don’t qualify for CL this year, Del Nido has made it pretty clear we’re going to have to lighten the load. When I look at our roster, a few people stick out as possible high-dollar sales, and I think it’s not a coincidence that these people are getting talked up as transfer targets. So here are my thoughts on a few of these player/coaching moves:
- This Varas stuff is nonsense. He waited for his chance, and he’s earned the starting spot. Even if we could sell him for a good chunk of change, we’d have to spend a lot of that same money to replace him. We grew this guy, let’s not try to earn 2-3 million and expose ourselves to the possibility that we have a keeper problem next year.
- Thinking of players we might sell, I’d say Perotti is high on the list of players who could bring a lot of money in without leaving a huge hole in the lineup. I think Capel is probably ready to step in, and we have Alfaro waiting in the wings (get it?). I don’t want to sell Perotti, but if he could maybe net us 10 million (or more? Get in there, Del Nido!) and we can more or less replace him in-house, that’d be nice.
- Kanoute? He’s gotta retire with us. End of story. Unless someone wants to pay way more than someone his age is worth or trade for a very young star, I hope we keep him. I see him working for the club when he’s 50.
- Negredo is, outside of Navas, the guy who could make us the most money in one sale. But he’s too valuable to the squad. He’s young, talented, likes being here, and is loved by the crowd. This one’s not really under our control, I realize, but I hope he stays. And if we sell him to someone outside of RM, I hope we get to pocket the extra money (I don’t know if we do or not).
- I don’t want to hire Caparrós. Not just because I’m not interested in moving back in time by 10 years or that I don’t really like the way Athletic plays, but also because I want to keep Manzano. He didn’t have a whole season this year, it seems pretty obvious that the summer purchases he inherited when he stepped in mid-season were duds (does Cigarini even live in Sevilla any more? Meanwhile, Guarente’s surgery could have repaired the wrong leg and it’d still be the most successful thing he was involved in in Sevilla), and he’s done a fantastic job of incorporating the players/positions he presumably asked for. Look, Rakitic and Medel are obviously good players, and that was fantastic work by Monchi et al. But good players struggle to incorporate into good teams (and vice versa) all the time. Manzano deserves credit for plugging them both in and getting incredible results. Also, he makes risky, tough calls. I like watching our team be fearsome and ballsy. I do not enjoy the scared defensive sub to protect a 1-0 lead move that we have seen in the past. So I think he deserves a full year to show what he can do. Especially because now that Fabiano is gone, he will have had maybe a month with a full roster of a working midfield with Rakitic/Medel and three forwards. That’s just not fair, and I don’t want to lose a very good coach just so we can engage in some weird fantasy/nostalgia hiring of the coach who first brought us to this level.
So those are my (lengthy) thoughts. What do you guys think? Like I said, the rumors are just rumors and I don’t really care about them in specific, but generally speaking, who do you hope stays? Who would you LIKE to sell? Who do you think we SHOULD sell? And so on. Let the world know your thoughts!