The Transfer Market doesn’t officially open until Jan. 1, but there are big names on the move.
América has barely had time to put its Apertura 2018 trophy in its crowded trophy case and the other 17 Liga MX teams have already begun juggling their rosters in preparation to knock the Aguilas off their lofty perch.
Although transfers can’t become official until Jan. 1, rumors have been swirling. In addition, a number of blockbuster announcements have already been made … to the tune of 42 million dollars through Wednesday, Dec. 19. At the same time, América is the only team to announce that they will not be active traders with coach Miguel Herrera saying management is “very happy with the roster we have out together and we don’t want anybody to leave.”
Herrera did acknowledge to reporters that precocious midfielder Diego Lainez is likely to make a move to Europe though he expressed a preference that the 18-year-old stay with the Aguilas one more year “so that he can move abroad as an unquestioned starter.”
Losing finalist Cruz Azul has not stood still, this week signing midfielder Orbelín Pineda from the Chivas as well as the league’s third-leading goal-scorer Jonathan Rodríguez from Santos. The new toys for coach Pedro Caixinha have set back the Cementeros 14 million dollars.
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The Chivas plucked 21-year-old striker Alexis Vega from Toluca at a cost of more than 8 million dollars, while strengthening their defense by acquiring defender Hiram Mier from Querétaro. The “Rebaño Sagrado” also signed midfielder Dieter Villalpando from Necaxa.
However, Guadalajara still has plenty of holes to fill after a disappointing 11th-place finish. The Chivas hope Vega can resolve their scoring issues and they released three strikers to make room for him. The trade of 19-year-old José Juan Macías (to León) is the most controversial since coach Pepe Cardozo did not seem to give him many opportunities.
Bottom-of-the-table clubs Necaxa and Veracruz have been the most active thus far, with the Rayos adding 6 new players while releasing 4 players and Veracruz bringing in 8 news players.
Among the big-name players to change jerseys are volatile midfielder Rubens Sambueza (from Toluca to León), 21-year-old Chilean striker Víctor Dávila (from Necaxa to Pachuca), former UNAM forward Ismael Sosa (from Tigres to Pachuca) and Osvaldo Martínez (from Santos to Atlas).
Santos, the Clausura 2018 champion, has undergone significant changes already. In addition to the aforementioned Rodríguez and Martínez, the Guerreros also lost midfielder Jesús Isijara (to Atlas) while releasing defenders Gerardo Alcoba and Alejandro Castro. There have also been whispers that Santos is shopping striker Julio Furch. So far, the Torreón-based team has brought on board two wingers – Diego Valdés from Morelia and Bryan Garnica from Atlas.
One of the more desirable transfer targets made available is León’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer Mauro Boselli. The powerful striker is thought to be on Monterrey’s wish list in case their striker – Rogelio Funes Mori – finds a suitor in Europe. Pachuca, whose ownership group also owns a majority stake in León, is rumored to be open to trade talks, dangling 25-year-old Chilean forward Angelo Sagal.
Another sought-after player is Lobos BUAP striker Leo Ramos who was reportedly signed by Atlas (so said El Universal Deportes) but the Argentine scoring sensation has not officially been made available for transfer yet.