Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Robert Flores: From River to River

River Plate have made their first incorporation by bringing in Robert Flores. The 22-year old midfielder may not be known outside of his native country, but in Uruguay he was praised by both fans and critics alike, gaining him a strong comparison to the legendary Enzo Francescoli. In his first season as a starter for River Plate of Uruguay (yes, his now ex-club holds the same name as us), he shined and was even chosen as the best player of the tournament by a group 100 of the country's best journalists.

So far, so good. But the worst part is that his case may end up being the same as Alexis Sanchez's. Flores was purchased by Villarreal a while back, and is still owned by the Spanish side. Since there is a good relationship between Villarreal and River following the recent transfer of 50% of 6 River players (in exchange for 9 million euros), the Uruguayan has arrived on loan for one year free of charge. The big question remains: what will happen after those 12 months? Aguilar plans on purchasing a small percentage of the player, though Robert will most likely be taking a flight to Europe instead.

In terms of other incorporations, River still have two main targets in mind: Mariano Andujar (goalkeeper; Estudiantes) and Santiago Salcedo (forward; Newell's). Both are becoming more accessible as time passes. In the goalkeeper's case, Mariano Barbosa's arrival to the team has changed Andujar's "untransferable" status to "negotiable". Although he will most likely end up in Europe, Simeone still has some hope that his favorite goalkeeper will join the club. Salcedo, on the other hand, seems impossible since Newell's President Eduardo Lopez has valued him at $10,000,000. The positive? The Paraguayan was said to be very excited with the possibility of joining "los Millonarios" and upon hearing Lopez's irrealistic price tag became very dissappointed. He even went as far as missing the first two days of pre-season training with the Rosarinos to let Lopez know that the standards should be lowered. River are analyzing a part exchange offer (money + Mauro Rosales), though if it isn't accepted they are already looking at alternative options.

As for loans, many will be arriving and many will be leaving:

- Rubens Sambueza, Diego Barrado, and Andres San Martin have returned from Pumas, Olimpo, and Arsenal de Sarandi respectively. All will be given a chance during this Pre-Season, though none are guaranteed to stay.
- Cristian Nasuti is highly likely to join Racing for the next twelve months, though Godoy Cruz, Newell's, and Banfield are also after him.
- Sebastian Sciorilli will be joining Colon with hopes of gaining some valuable first-team experience.
- Omar Merlo had joined River on loan in January. The central defender arrived from Colon as an interesting prospect, though Simeone never gave him a chance. He is heavily considering cutting his loan short in order to join Estudiantes.
- Rene Lima had everything straightened out to join PAOK of Greece on loan, though he will finally be joining Gimnasia (LP).

There is currently a bit of a problem with Oscar Ahumada and his contract. Make sure to check back for the next post, which will be regarding the problem.


ron said...

Any news on Falcao ? Been awfully quiet ..

Locoxriver said...

Nope. No official offers for the Colombian as of yet.

Nick, villarrealusa.org said...

I'm fairly happy with Flores moving to River, the standard in Uruguay is quite low and it would have been a big jump going straight to Spain. I hope he does well as he is supposedly a big factor in Pellegrini's plans for the future.

ron said...

Falcao linked to Arsenal (Wenger offerend 8m pounds) according to The Sun

Locoxriver said...

Yeah.. but then again, the Sun is also known for posting made-up stories.

There were also rumours of Real Madrid and Manchester United interests, yet no official representative from any club has contacted River for Falcao.

Hopefully he stays, it would be a pity to lose a player like him.

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