It’s this time of year that I need to remind myself to take deep breathes and to put my trust in Monchi. It’s not easy, because almost all of our critical players are presently being rumored to be headed to one team or another. Rakitic, Mbia, Fazio, Moreno, and Bacca have all had various rumors surrounding them, some with apparently concrete transfer offers, some with purely speculative interest, and others with confusing contractual situations that seem slow to resolve.
I need to remind myself at these times that if I had given Monchi a grade for last season it would have been somewhere between an A and an A+ (and of course that grade would be shared with Del Nido). He sold Navas, Negredo, and Medel among others and brought in 12 new players. I’d say about 9 of them exceeded expectations. That’s pretty incredible when comparing that turnover to what the team achieved. So we need to just remain calm and put our trust in Monchi. If anyone can find a way to sell the team’s present stars, incorporate new replacements, and somehow still improve the team, its Monchi.
To me, letting Moreno go to Liverpool for 22 million (the presently rumored offer) seems like an offer that is too good to pass up. Having just been dropped from the Spanish squad Moreno’s value probably is what it is at this moment. And with other players getting to show off their worth during the World Cup and catch peoples’ eye, I’d rather see his deal be completed sooner than later. Getting this deal done soon will clarify the club’s financial position and the team’s needs going forward.
I’m increasingly pessimistic about Rakitic coming back. It breaks my heart to say it, but it would be done if he wanted it to be. It hurts to imagine that he could leave us for Atletico. At this point I’m just hoping we get something in the order of 35 million or more in the deal.
Monchi has consistently said that with Fazio he is the most optimistic. But again, the deal has lingered and not been finalized. To me, Fazio is absolutely crucial to our stability next season. We’ll be going through more adjustments next season and having Fazio stabilizing the back line will be critical to us not struggling out of the gates next season.
Bacca just recently bubbled up in rumors linking him to Atletico as a replacement for Diego Costa. I’m slightly comforted in this situation because Bacca is under contract until 2018, so we’ll have a bit more leverage in any negotiations. But I really hope he doesn’t go. Bacca and Gameiro were a great pairing last season and I’d hate to have uncertainty up front again.
And the one that’s most confounding for me…. Mbia. We have a clause to purchase him for 4 million euros. And yet instead we are only willing to loan him for a second year. Someone, please explain how this makes any sense to anyone. In what world is Mbia not worth well more than 4 million? In what world did he not earn the majority of that extra 4 million himself by willing us through the semi-finals with his heroics against Valencia. How is 4 of the 22 million from Moreno’s sale not very well invested in a player I believe could easily get at least 8 million on the open market (and will further be on display in the World Cup). If he really just doesn’t want to play for us next season, then why the charade about trying to bring him back on loan? I just don’t get this one. Anyone have any explanations to offer?
Anyway, I have no idea how this offseason is going to play out. Probably only Monchi does. But as we start to offload our stars and before their replacements have arrived let’s try and remain calm, carry on, and put our trust in Monchi.