This is how Espanyol has lost its power of seduction for footballers

This is how Espanyol has lost its power of seduction for footballers

2023-07-30 17:28:38

Barcelona Espanyol is looking for “rowers” to return to Primera. The club has lost its appeal when it comes to attracting footballers, because with the relegation to Segona it has been devalued sportingly and financially. In a summer in which he will have to resort to players low cost or transferred from a lower level, the main problem is not outside, but inside the club: many level players do not see the project clearly.

Joselu, Pedrosa and Vilhena have already packed their bags. Subsidiary youngster Luca Koleosho has preferred to go to the Premier League rather than earn opportunities in the Second Division. Braithwaite has declared himself in rebellion to force an exit. And, meanwhile, the future of other pillars like Darder and Melamed is up in the air with a month to close the market. They listen to offers because their future at the club is not clear. Of course, both respect the club and will continue to train and play as normal until a positive resolution is reached for all parties.

Darder’s clause, which has a contract until 2026, rises from 10 to 15 million euros on August 1. But sources close to the player tell the ARA that they do not rule out that he ends up leaving for a lower amount. “Espanyol is a very peculiar club, where decisions are made by the owner from China and it is a bit unpredictable”. People close to the white-and-blue captain, however, recognize that “he does not want to leave here in despair”. Darder, who at 29 years old is aware that he is at a key moment in his career when he can sign a big contract with some level club, is open to listen to proposals. “There are open conversations, but both the player and the club need to see them with good eyes”, point out from those around him. Darder, in fact, already rejected Barça’s interest in order not to betray the club of his life. Last year he rejected proposals from Atlético, Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia, who wanted him as a free agent before renewing, because he bought the project that Espanyol proposed to him and which was not he ended up complying. Now, these clubs and others have it more complicated to incorporate him, due to the limitations imposed by the strict fair play of the League. Most would need to sell to sign him. Nor does he rule out going abroad, Darder, who could break his silence in the coming weeks to publicly explain his situation.

In the case of Melamed, the debate does not revolve around the clause – of between 15 and 20 million in Segona -, because his contract ends in 2024 and he has not yet received any formal offer from the club to renew. A position that has surprised the environment of the midfielder, only 22 years old. “We have been called to show intentions, but nothing has materialized to date, there is no approach. We understand that, if they don’t move, it means that they must not be interested”, they comment from their environment. The same club, in fact, admits to the ARA that the renewals of Melamed and Lozano – whose contract also ends next year – “are not yet being addressed” because “there are many things open”.

Although he still does not have a pre-agreement with any other club, Melamed has received the interest of several entities, who see him as a market opportunity for 2024. Espanyol is late again and risks losing a new youth talent at zero cost, as happened with Pau López, Melendo and Pedrosa – all of them with Chen Yansheng at the club. Everything points to Melamed, a key piece for Luis García, staying at the club in the 2023-24 academic year. Of course, continuity beyond 2024 seems, right now, quite remote.

The young people of Castilla prioritize Primera offers

The possibility that Espanyol could fish for a youngster from Real Madrid’s subsidiary this summer, foreseen in the agreement for the transfer of Joselu, could come to naught because Castilla’s best players prioritize offers from Primera: Carlos Dotor has signed for Celta, Alabès has taken Antonio Blanco and Rafa Marín and Sergio Arribas are negotiating with Mallorca. Espanyol needs to regain its appeal.

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