Real Betis fell away from the European places last season primarily due to a lack of firepower and a blunt attack in the final third. The striking position was earmarked many months ago for being their primary area of concern this summer with the aim of landing a minimum of one prolific player.
A multitude of reports now claim that the club are prepared to break their 22-year long transfer record to land Espanyol striker Borja Iglesias. The hitman has a €28m release clause at the RCDE Stadium and that would trump the signing of Brazilian winger Denilson, in then (1997) a world record transfer which brought Betis into global headlines.
Los Verdiblancos have already committed to changes in their attacking line-up. They did not take up the option to sign Jese Rodriguez on a permanent deal from Paris Saint-Germain following a hugely underwhelming loan stint, while Sergio Leon has been sold on a permanent deal to Levante. Antonio Sanabria remains out on a long-term loan deal at Italian club Genoa, while Alex Alegria – who was on loan at Levante last campaign – has been released.
That left just Loren Moron as the lone striker on the club’s books, although they swiftly acted to replenish this with the addition of Juanmi from Real Sociedad – landed in an €8m deal. Now it appears they are willing to commit a large portion of their transfer budget towards Iglesias, who would surely become the focal point of their attack.
The 26-year-old only joined the Catalan club last summer in a €10m deal from Celta Vigo and he netted 20 goals in 43 appearances in his debut season. He starred under Espanyol boss Rubi, who has subsequently been appointed at Betis and who could prove instrumental in any such deal to the Seville-based club being processed.
The Galician native netted 23 goals for Real Zaragoza last season on a loan spell while the prior campaign he grabbed 34 goals for Celta’s B team. However, Espanyol would be powerless to stop Iglesias leaving if his release clause was met and there are greater financial rewards for the player available at the clubs interested.
Betis may well look to make at least one landmark signing before discussing the future of several of their stars who are receiving plenty of admiring looks from elsewhere – including Giovani Lo Celso, Sergio Canales and Junior Firpo. Their summer is worth keeping an eye on.
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