Miguel Layun is focused on the World Cup.
You can tell from the his performances. The versatile player, who turned 30 on Monday, has essentially gone from Mexico's left back to its right winger in this tournament. He's done it well, helping Carlos Vela have the freedom to sit behind center forward Chicharito but also shoring up a right side that has featured either converted center back Carlos Salcedo or 20-year-old novice Edson Alvarez behind him at right back.
Even while he and the rest of the national team continue to 'imagine badass things', though, the player admitted he's also thinking of his future. It surely would be hard not to wonder where you would be setting up one month from now, dealing with things like finding an apartment and setting up the internet. Most people at the World Cup know where their flight back from Russia will be booked to.
That's not so for Layun. Porto maintains his rights, but with the Veracruz native not figuring in Sergio Conceicao's plans, he moved to Sevilla in January window. His stint there went well enough. Layun played in 16 La Liga matches, seeing time both at right back and further forward. While playing the more attacking role, he scored against Real Madrid. He also scored against Leganes.
It was a brief time, but a period he enjoyed and Layun hopes to return to Sevilla.
"I'm like everyone, waiting to see if something gets confirmed. In a tournament like the World Cup, I'm totally concentrated on what I want to get here, but of course this topic about knowing what my future is going to be is always there," Layun told Cadena SER this week. "They're the ones who have to make some statement. I'm trying to be, and always am, the most professional possible like I was with Sevilla. I gave everything to the club and went through a good period in my career there. For me, participating at such an important club in Europe has been really special, I said that for me it was a dream to be able to continue with the team.
"I still haven't dismissed the possibility of staying in Sevilla, because for me it'd be really great," he continued before adding, "I see it as complicated. I think if they had the intention [to keep me] they already would've communicated with me or with my agent."
You can understand why he's not holding out too much hope. Sevilla declined the chance to sign Layun for €4 million before the end of May. Another deadline looms in four days with a June 30 deadline for Sevilla to buy for €6m. The strong start to the World Cup, however, has caused the Spanish side to reconsider whether they might be letting Layun go too easily. With Jesus Navas and Sergio Escudero at fullback, you can understand why they may feel they're well situated there. Layun's push into the midfield and success playing the position against a team like Germany shows once again that he's the kind of player who is worth having in the squad.
Is he worth €6m? And is he worth €2m more now than he was two weeks ago? Those are the questions Sevilla must answer. With a Porto return unlikely, though, and Layun saying his first choice would be a return to Spain, there must be the fear that not retaining Layun could lead to him wearing someone else's colors and popping up at fullback, in the midfield or both during the season.
You've seen during the tournament that he could succeed even in the world's best league. Against Germany, he was asked to take long-range shots and did so - launching a few of his chances but putting one on target that drew Manuel Neur's attention. The game plan was different against Korea, and Layun responded by passing more often and stretching the Korean defense to create space for Vela and Chicharito to work in.
No matter where he plays on the field, new Sevilla manager Pablo Machin has to have been paying close attention to Layun, a player who so often has come up big for his country, and seen a player who could do the same for a La Liga club. Maybe even his.