West Ham has lost out to Valencia for the signature of Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez, with the La Liga side confirming the deal on Sunday.
Valencia made the deal official on social media, bringing home the frontman on a complicated deal that included a $16 million fee plus a swap deal for 23-year-old striker Santi Mina plus a two-year loan for new Valencia signing Jorge Saenz who recently arrived from Tenerife.
According to the club, Gomez signed a five-year contract with Valencia and has a massive $158 million release clause. The 22-year-old Uruguay international has been massively prolific for Celta Vigo since arriving from Uruguayan side Defensor Sporting two years ago, scoring 31 goals in 71 La Liga matches over that span.
West Ham was heavily linked to Gomez, but according to reports, the player much preferred his new Spanish destination. In addition, English tabloids report West Ham was not willing to pay Gomez’s $56 million release clause up front, while Celta Vigo put together a more enticing offer. The Hammers will have to look elsewhere for a Marko Arnautovic replacement.
Gomez has 12 international caps and two goals to his name, and was in the squad for the entirety of this summer’s Copa America, although he was left on the bench for every match as Uruguay reached the semifinals.
Going in the other direction, Celta Vigo acquires Mina, who left the club four years ago for Valencia as a teenager and saw significant time on the field but never truly established himself as a reliable goalscorer. In 117 top-flight appearances for Valencia, Mina scored 29 goals and assisted 11 more. He now returns to his boyhood club and will make the move alongside 22-year-old defender Saenz who has yet to make his La Liga debut.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Brazilian goalkeeper Neto will sign a four-year contract with the Spanish champions.
The transfer completes a swap a day after Barcelona sold Jasper Cillessen to Valencia.
Barcelona says it is paying 26 million euros ($29.5 million) plus possibly another 9 million euros ($10.2 million) in variables for Neto. Valencia paid Barcelona 35 million euros ($40 million) for Cillessen.
Neto will replace Cillessen, who played as a backup for Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Champions League and the Spanish league and only regularly started in the Copa del Rey.
The 29-year-old Neto helped Valencia qualify for the Champions League with a fourth-place finish for the past two seasons in Spain. He also played in Italy at Juventus as a backup to Gianluigi Buffon and at Fiorentina after starting at Brazilian club Paranaense.
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David Silva says his 10th season at Manchester City will be his last with the Etihad Stadium set.
“It completes the cycle,” he said in a press conference this week. “It’s a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years – that’s it.”
Silva turns 34 in January, and posted 10 goals and 14 assists in 50 appearances for Pep Guardiola‘s men last season.
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All told, he enters this one-year contract with 396 appearances for City, scoring 71 goals with 129 assists. He’s won the Premier League four times, the FA Cup twice, and the League Cup four times.
He was last capped by Spain at the 2018 World Cup, where he’s scored 37 times in 129 caps. He’s also played with Valencia and Celta Vigo in his native country.
The news comes less than a week after a fellow Spanish legend, Fernando Torres, announced his retirement.
But Silva seems like he’s got a bit more in the tank. Could he be one of the big names matched with Inter Miami for 2020? Or might he follow Xavi’s route to the Middle East?
After spending three seasons at Barcelona mostly as a backup, goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will now have the opportunity to earn significant playing time as the Dutchman has reportedly completed a move to Valencia, with Neto going in the opposite direction.
Hector Gomez of Valencia-centric show Tribuna VCF reports that Cillessen has completed his medical with Valencia.
According to a number of Spanish reports, including AS and Dario SPORT, the two deals will be done separately and completely at slightly different times for equal amounts of money to help out Valencia in financial fair play. Neto will move to Barcelona before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, while Cillessen’s deal will be officially completed after the start of the 2019/20 fiscal year on July 1, helping Valencia bank the $34 million transfer fee in the recently completed season before sending that money right back officially part of next season.
The 30-year-old Cillessen has been with Barcelona since joining from Ajax in 2016, making just five La Liga appearances for the club while backing up Marc-Andre ter Stegen. He did serve as the regular domestic cup goalkeeper, helping Barcelona to Copa del Rey titles in 2016/17 and 2017/18 before losing last season to Valencia in the final. Despite not playing much for Barcelona, Cillessen is still the starter for the Dutch national team and has been since mid-2017 when he won the job back from Jeroen Zoet and Maarten Stekelenburg.
Neto, meanwhile, presumably returns to a backup role he served at Juventus for two years, stuck behind Gianluigi Buffon. He was the starter for Valencia the past two seasons, helping the club to two consecutive fourth-place finishes in La Liga play.
West Ham United’s commitment to taking the next step is pretty clear, and the Irons may have finally found their big, young European striker.
Maxi Gomez, 22, has scored 32 times with 10 assists in two seasons at Celta Vigo, and has his choices down to Valencia and West Ham.
Both clubs have seen $36.5 million accepted by Celta Vigo, and now it’s down to the player to choose between testing the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
Should West Ham add Gomez, it will be the second $30 million-plus buy of the summer and add to last summer’s record-breaking purchase of Felipe Anderson. Pablo Fornals joined the Irons earlier this week.
He scored against both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid last season, and both Barca and Real Madrid the previous season. Gomez made the Uruguayan squad for the 2018 World Cup, making two appearances off the bench, and has scored twice in 12 caps.
West Ham has a decent striker in Marko Arnautovic, but the 30-year-old has been mercurial at best in his commitment to the club. Andy Carroll is leaving the club this summer.
The club has also placed a $15 million bid for another La Liga player, 24-year-old midfielder Joan Jordan of Eibar.
A more box-to-box player with attacking and wing experience, Jordan scored four times with four assists last season. He was linked with Arsenal during the season.