Chivas sign midfielder Sandoval from Santos Laguna, bid Gallito farewell

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The 22-year-old is moving to Guadalajara, with veteran midfielder Jose Juan Vazquez heading to Torreon in return

Chivas have wasted no time making a signing after missing out on the Liguilla.

The Guadalajara side, which won the Liga MX and Copa MX titles during the Clausura but crashed out of both competitions in the Apertura, announced Monday that it has signed midfielder Gael Sandoval from Santos Laguna. 

The 22-year-old Sandoval was named to Mexico's preliminary Gold Cup roster this summer but didn't make the cut. He has bolstered his national team stock with a solid campaign in the Apertura despite a disappointing tournament from Los Guerreros. He moves to Chivas after being named the league's top new player in 2016-17 and had more assists than any other Mexican player in the 2017 Clausura.

"We appreciate the commitment, dedication and professionalism shown by our homegrown player during his stay at the institution, and wish him a lot of luck and the best of success in his new step," read a Santos Laguna news release.

Chivas also bid farewell to defensive midfielder Jose Juan "Gallito" Vazquez, who is headed the other way in the transaction. Vazquez was deemed surplus for Chivas, with Orbelin Pineda and Michael Perez continuing to develop into regular starters.

After a number of excellent campaigns for its youth teams, with many of its youth players a part of Mexico's setup, Santos Laguna is beginning to cash in on the investments the club has made in young talent. The Torreon-based club sold Uriel Antuna to the City Football Group before the season, with the 20-year-old currently playing with Dutch side Groningen. The northern club has become known for developing and selling talent, with Liga MX stars Oribe Peralta and Darwin Quintero among those to pass through the club before moving on to a bigger side. 

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Chivas, meanwhile, signs only Mexican players and needs to reload after a campaign that saw Matias Almeyda's men finish 13th in the table with 18 points — the same amount as Santos. In addition to Vazquez, goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota also is expected to head for the exit door this winter while being linked with a number of players.

Some rumors, like the return of Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez from the Premier League, seem like fantasy while others, like Lobos BUAP forward Amaury Escoto arriving to back up Alan Pulido, have more credence.

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