National team stalwarts like Gio Dos Santos and Memo Ochoa will likely change clubs this summer, with rumors beginning to heat up.It’s summer, so there’s nothing hotter in the world of soccer than the annual three-month transfer derby, which has just gotten off the mark. This year’s summer window bears particular interest for Mexican fans, who will see plenty of interest and action headed both ways across the Atlantic.
Some of the more compelling stories will take place entirely in Europe, though. Easily the most followed transfer saga for Mexican fans is that of star attacker Giovani Dos Santos. That’s not just because his performances for El Tri suggest that there should be a role for the Brazilian-Mexican somewhere in Europe, but also because it’s not clear that, despite having no plans for him, Tottenham has any intention of letting him go.
Earlier this summer, Gio’s agent revealed that a pending move to Villarreal -- potentially a great fit for the former Barcelona attacker -- had been derailed by the Yellow Submarine’s demotion to Spain’s second division. Rumors continue to link Dos Santos with a move back to Spain, though, specifically to Atletico Madrid.
After Dos Santos’ shining performance over the last few weeks with El Tri, several English clubs are also apparently in the hunt, including Swansea, which had a close up view of Dos Santos as he tore apart Wales last month.
Beyond Gio, the next most contentious situation is that of Carlos Vela. The AWOL Mexican striker wants out of Arsenal, but his shining season at Real Sociedad only made that move a more difficult proposition.
The Basque side would love to keep the maturing Mexican, but Arsenal may now want more than it might have last summer. Vela has received offers to return to Mexico as well -- we know Chivas would love to have him -- but of all the Mexicans abroad his is the case where a return to the Americas would make the least sense.
Another Mexican likely to be on the move this summer is Memo Ochoa, who is the target of teams across France and Spain. His spectacular season nearly single-handedly keeping Ajaccio in the French honor division means his team can sell him at a good price, and the Corsican side seems to have a mind to do so.
Just last week, Ajaccio’s president admitted to having ideas of signing another Mexican goalkeeper to replace Ochoa, specifically mentioning Monterrey’s Jonathan Orozco. No firm interest in Ochoa has been confirmed, but he seems to have one foot on the boat out of Corsica.
In U-23 news, Marco Fabian’s strong showing at Toulon has top sides from around Europe chasing him, with French teams Toulouse and Marseille among the first to declare their interest. Atletico Madrid and Malaga are also reportedly in the chase, with Liverpool at the front of a Premier League pack interested in Fabian and Hector Herrera.
Headed the other way are former Mexicans abroad Nery Castillo, who confirmed a transfer to Pachuca, and Efrain Juarez, who finally got out of a bad situation at Celtic to join America. Also ending a short stint in Europe is youth forward Taufic Guarch, who will go on loan to Tigres after failing to make much of an impression at Espanyol.
There could well be more movement back to Mexico to come. After two seasons of flux between England and Spain, Pablo Barrera told the press during El Tri’s tour that he would be interested in a move back home. Add his name to the long list of targets on Chivas’ list, which includes the hulking Spaniard of Mexican origin, Anibal Zurdo, already a fixture at Guadalajara -- the Spanish version.
Finally, while Gio Dos Santos declared unequivocally last month that MLS will not be an option for him, Guille Franco is tops on the list of Mexican veterans who says he wouldn’t mind giving the northern league a shot.
With so many young Mexicans on the radars at European clubs, and the showcase of the Olympics yet to come this summer, the transfer talk is just heating up in Mexico. Stay tuned.
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