With sides finalising their transfer business ahead of the new La Liga season on August 18th, attention turns to who has done the smartest business.
The headlines have been taken by Cristiano Ronaldo’s switch from Real Madrid to Juventus, and their pursuit of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard as a replacement.
However some of the shrewdest business has been done by the side that finished fourth last season – with Valencia boss Marcelino quietly going about solidifying their place in the Champions League qualifying spots.
Last season’s finish puts them back in Europe’s premier competition following a two season hiatus, and the former Villarreal boss is determined to keep them there.
Their success in 2017-18 was built on impressive performances from players on loan at the club, and their first move of the summer was to make one of those deals permanent.
Geoffrey Kondogbia was excellent in midfield last season, making 30 La Liga starts alongside veteran Dani Parejo, providing drive and creativity from central areas.
He was deemed surplus at parent club Inter Milan, despite his strong showing in Spain, and he was snapped up for €25 million.
The club remains in talks with PSG over the transfer of Goncalo Guedes, after he netted five goals and caused havoc with his pace and trickery out wide last season whilst on loan and the Mestalla.
PSG are demanding in excess of €60 million for the Portuguese international, and that may prove a stumbling block, but Valencia do have the money – but they will want to avoid being held to ransom by the French club.
Atletico Madrid striker Kevin Gameiro is also set to sign for the club in the coming days, after it was confirmed he would be leaving Atletico after two seasons at the club.
He will sign for Valencia for a nominal fee, after they turned down the option to sign team mate Luciano Vietto, who was on loan with them last season.
One deal that has been confirmed, and potentially as a fail safe if others do not fall into place, is that of Daniel Wass – from Celta Vigo.
The Danish international was far from the star of the Galician side, but his work rate and ability to create chances endeared him massively.
He will bring that graft and crossing consistency to Valencia, after a €6 million deal was sealed in July.
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