As the transfer window begins to close, teams looking to bring in new players will have to avoid panic buying.
With only a week remaining in the winter transfer window, Liga MX teams are scrambling to fill the roster holes that have become apparent three weeks into the season. The headline transfer was the return from Europe of defender Carlos Salcedo (photo at top).
The Tigres acquired the former Guadalajara Chivas star from Eintracht Frankfurt and will likely slot him into central defense next to Hugo Ayala, taking the place of the retired Juninho.
The move has been broadly criticized, with many commentators saying the 25-year-old is leaving Europe too soon. “El Titán” played one season in Fiorentina, playing in 18 games, after leaving the Chivas in summer 2016. He then moved to Frankfurt where he had won a starting job on the back line, but had trouble avoiding injuries.
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Most pundits argue that he could have benefited from a longer stay in Europe, but Salcedo was dealing with personal issues that he could not address satisfactorily from such a distance.
In León, the Esmeraldas appear to be on the verge of signing central defender Paolo Goltz from Boca Juniors. The rugged 33-year-old played for América for three years, winning the Apertura 2014 title with the Aguilas as well as two Concacaf Champions League crowns (2015 and 2016).
Goltz returned to his native Argentina in the summer of 2017 to play for Boca but injuries have cost him his starting job and he is considering a return to Mexico. Uruguay’s Peñarol is also interested in his services so León must negotiate wisely.
At the border, the Xolos have presented their new player, striker Ariel Nahuelpan. The hulking Argentine striker is back in Mexico with Tijuana, coming north from Barcelona de Guayaquil (Ecuador) where he scored 13 goals in 44 games.
Nahuelpan first arrived in Mexico in summer 2013, signing with the Pumas, but he struggled to produce, scoring only twice in 16 league games. He did get 4 goals in 5 Cup games, however. He was then traded to Pachuca where he thrived for two seasons. Nahuelpan scored 14 goals in 35 games during the Apertura 2014 and Clausura 2015 seasons. He continued to find the net during the Apertura 2015, scoring 8 goals in 18 matches, but he moved on after the season, taking his game to Brazil to play for Internacional.
Tijuana struggled to score last season, getting only 13 goals in 17 games. So far this season, the Xolos have scored just once in three matches, so coach Oscar Pareja is hopeful that the 31-year-old veteran can provide some scoring punch.
Defending champion América is thought to be pondering changes. Winger Cecilio Domínguez has finally finalized his contract with Argentina’s Independiente and he’ll be leaving the team in the coming days.
Forward Cristian Insaurralde was acquired by the Aguilas just before the Apertura 2018 season but did not see the field often, so it was thought that America might move on from him. However, the 24-year-old scored against Pachuca and has impressed with his work rate. He has also expressed his desire to remain with the club. Meanwhile, America is rumored to be asking about Alejandro Romero Gamarra, a 24-year-old attacking midfielder who plays for New York Red Bulls in MLS.
Elsewhere, Necaxa inked Argentine striker Rodrigo Contreras, 25, who joins the Rayos from Chile’s Antofagasta. The slumping Gallos Blancos of Querétaro signed Paraguayan midfielder Jorge Rojas, 26, from Cerro Porteño.
Some teams thought to be preparing for transfer activity have made it clear they prefer to rely on players from their academies. UNAM is one such team as a day after coach David Patiño voiced concerns about his roster, he confessed to reporters that he didn’t expect to bring in any new players.
With 7 days to go, we could still see some movement.