Liga MX kick-off nears but transfer window wide open

Lucas Cavallini could be trading in his Puebla stripe for a Cruz Azul jersey. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Lucas Cavallini could be trading in his Puebla stripe for a Cruz Azul jersey. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

Oribe Peralta’s move from América to Chivas and the arrival of Giovani dos Santos are the two biggest offseason moves so far in Liga MX. But the transfer window remains open for another seven weeks.

We’re only about 10 days before the Apertura 2019 kicks off, but transfer panic has not set in yet. That’s because Liga MX teams have until the end of August to finalize their rosters.

That’s right, teams will have played eight games by transfer deadline so don’t expect a frantic flurry of acquisitions next week. No doubt some teams will make moves so that their rosters are well-established before the season gets too far along, but with the Copa América and Gold Cup just coming to an end this past Sunday, some international players will be straggling into training camp a bit late.

All that being said, there is still a plethora of player moves – and interesting rumors –  to catch up on.

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In Guadalajara, Chivas team president Amaury Vergara officially presented new defender Antonio Briseño who joins the club from Portugal’s Feirense. But greater attention was focused on Vergara’s claim that the “Rebaño Sagrado” would be making more moves.

Vergara did squelch statements made by coach Tomás Boy that left back Miguel Ponce had been released by the team. Reports indicated that Ponce and central defender Hedgardo Marín – both of whom were frequent scapegoats for the team’s defensive shortcomings – would be moved to Atlético San Luis. In exchange, “Los Tuneros” would loan teen sensation Óscar Macías to the Chivas. Vergara told reporters Tuesday that Ponce was still on the Chivas roster.

In San Luis, rumors emerged that Atlético Madrid co-owners were pushing to replace coach Alfonso Sosa, the man who helped the Potosinos win promotion to Liga MX. One report suggested former Tijuana, América and Monterrey coach Antonio Mohamed was being recruited. Apparently, Sosa got wind of this story and agreed to change his coaching staff and accept more guidance from the “Colchoneros” brain trust.

After his splendid performance in the Gold Cup, midfielder Edson Álvarez is biding his time to see who offers the best package to América to acquire his services. Aguilas management is willing to send Álvarez to Europe, but they will not sell him cheaply.

The Premier League appears to be his likely destination and Wolverhampton has put forth the highest bid, roughly 13 million dollars. This move would place Edson in the same locker room as El Tri teammate Raúl Jiménez. Also in the chase is West Ham, but their offer is roughly 15% less than Wolves. Farther behind, but still interested is Ajax. Evidently, Edson would prefer to play with the Dutch giants because of their reputation for developing players and their participation in the UEFA Champions League. We might know more by next week.

Across town in Mexico City, Cruz Azul is still wheeling-and-dealing as the Cementeros are desperate to end their 22-year league title drought. The latest rumor has general manager Ricardo Peláez plucking high-scoring striker Lucas Cavallini from Puebla. “Record” reports that the teams have already agreed on the basics and final details are being worked out. Puebla already has identified a few strikers in South America it is willing to spend for.

The Cementeros are also said to be close to signing midfielder Renato Tapia a teammate of Cruz Azul midfielder Yoshimar Yotún on the Peru team that came in second to Brazil at the Copa América. GM Peláez has denied that Cruz Azul is negotiating with Dutch team Willem II with whom Tapia is under contract.