Having returned to the Champions League and their rightful place back in European football’s elite, Valencia continue to prepare for next season with another busy summer of transfers.
On Tuesday, Los Che confirmed the signing of midfielder Daniel Wass on a four-year contract, for a reported €6m, to become their fourth summer arrival. However, there is still plenty of work to do for the club as they attempt to restructure their squad.
Six players have already left the first-team ranks at the Mestalla following last season’s fourth-placed finish, three of whom saw their loan deals expire. Luciano Vietto and Andreas Pereira have returned to parent clubs Atletico Madrid and Manchester United respectively, while Goncalo Guedes has gone back to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Portuguese forward was the standout star for Marcelino’s squad last season and they will do everything within their power to bring him back on a permanent basis for next season. PSG do not have any immediate plans to incorporate the former Benfica star into their starting line-up for next season and reportedly must sell to meet UEFA Financial Fair Play deadlines. Valencia are said to be hopeful of signing Guedes in a €40m deal but must first do more business.
Wing-back Joao Cancelo has departed for Juventus in a €40m deal – having spent last season on loan at Inter – while Zakaria Bakkali has joined Anderlecht on a permanent basis. They are keen to shift on returning loanees Nani and Alvaro Medran, with forwards Santi Mina and Simone Zaza also being made available to other clubs.
Boss Marcelino is not a fan of having a bloated squad but alongside general manager Mateu Alemany there was a realisation the club needed to replenish their ranks, especially with predicted departures in mind. Securing Geoffrey Kondogbia on a permanent move from Inter, following a successful season on loan, was seen as significant. They have since signed French defender Mouctar Diakhaby from Lyon, who despite suffering injury problems is a promising star for his nation’s Under-21 side.
Should Zaza and potentially Mina depart, they are said to be looking into bringing striker Paco Alcacer back to the Mestalla from Barcelona. However, it should not be forgotten that despite last season’s success – which was overachievement distorted by their remarkably strong opening three months of the campaign – this is still a club in need of moving away from a chaotic regime, and the consequences of it.
Despite a return to the Champions League, this is a club who are not in a comfortable financial position and still have costly, underwhelming signings on long-term loan deals at other clubs. Youngsters such as Toni Lato, Carlos Soler and Ferran Torres are expected to continue to gain prominence in first-team affairs as Valencia continue in their aim of stabilising and building towards a brighter future.
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