Valencia & Soldado - the media posturing

This article was due last night, it was scheduled to auto publish so I must have made a mistake along the way, apologies, but it's here now.

In the world of football only a fool believes what a player, a manager, a chairman, s president says. What he must always to is think for himself, read and ask himself what does it really mean? Put a quote in context and ask yourself, does he mean that or is he just saying that as a bit of public relations to appease supporters or for a bit of posturing with another club.

Take a look at the Soldado situation. We had a word with him last summer and he was open to a move then but nothing happened. Our interest renewed and amid plenty of media speculation about a potential £18 million (€20.89m) bid, these was his quote on 6 June to the local media.

“It is clear for me that I want to stay here and help Valencia return to the Champions League, where we deserve to be,” Soldado told Valencian newspaper Super Deporte.

“That is despite the fact that we have not achieved our aim of doing that this season.”

The press all came out with headlines Soldado wants to stay in Spain. Now I read those headlines and saw them for what they were, simply a bit of PR (public relations) for the fans. I didn't believe a word of it, he was an important figure at the club simply making the right media noises, nothing more, the words had no real meaning behind them, it was just trotting out a standard line basically. had Valencia qualified for the Champions league then the situation might have been different but they lost out on the last day like ourselves and finished fifth.

A player must always have a fall back position, an exit strategy if you like. If a deal happens he can say the club need the money I didn't really want to go. If a deal doesn't happen he can say I never wanted to leave.

These were his quotes on 14 June:

"Atletico Madrid's interest in me? I'm so glad about it. I've a deal with Valencia and I want to respect my contract. Future out of Spain? I like Premier League and Bundesliga, are important championships, in which every player would like to play"

OK so what happened to I want to stay at Valencia? Eight days later and he is delighted someone else is interested and touts his name to two leagues. Now that shouts I want out of here but he can't tell the fans that just in case nothing happens.

Events move on and we place a bid. Plenty of posturing about €30 million but the €6 million agents fees are not made public so fans actually don't know the real situation.

Franco Baldini chats with the players agent Alberto Toldrá, himself a former player, and a £3 million (€3.5m) salary is quickly agreed in principle. Happy with that and having had assurances that Soldado wants to move to Spurs, and why wouldn't he when it doubles his salary, Baldini talks with the Valencia president Amadeo Salvo.

A report on that can be found here (opens in a new window): Soldado - Valencia board to discuss Spurs offer tomorrow

Now whilst his predecessor tried to cut costs, Salvo tries to raise money. Valencia need £12.06 million (€14m) to balance the books and Soldado is basically the only player who can raise substantial money. Sell him and they will also need to buy a replacement.

Valencia then need to sell him but they need to get the best price possible so they announce they won't sell for less than his buy out figure.

Spurs bid €26 million (£22.33m) + €4 million (£3.45) in easily achievable extras. Now remember there is €6 million (£5.17m) in agents fees to include in the deal. The €30 million (£25.85m) was originally to exclude those and then include those when Valencia realised nobody would be interested at an inflated €36 million (£31.02m). Spurs offer included the agents fees.

Valencia would get the money they wanted, everyone would be happy right? Wrong. Salvo is not happy with the payment structure he wants just two payments, one balances the books this year, one balances them next year. Spurs however had offered payments over the five years of Saldado's contract. So the fee isn't a problem at all it's the payment structure stopping a deal.

You can read about that here (opens in new window): Valencia stand firm over Soldado

Quite frankly insisting on two payments is unrealistic, yes it's great for Valencia but no club is going to commit €10-15 million (£8.6-13m) of next seasons transfer budget, they'd be leaving the cupboard bare and shooting themselves in the foot. No good business at all so it's clear Salvo will have to compromise somewhere.

Before the Valencia board get a chance to discuss the offer Spurs change it, they reduce the offer to €24 million (£20.68m) + €2 million (£1.72m) extras but not to include the agents fees, Valencia would have to pay them

So Valencia's choice is simple, €30 million (£25.85m) or €26 million (£22.40m) and a bill for €6 million (£5.17m) agents fees.

In the first deal Valencia get a profit of €24 million (£20.68m) and in the second deal €20 million (£17.23m).

The Valencia board meet and want to accept, Salvo doesn't and neither does he like Spurs hard ball tactics as he is being out manouvered. By not accepting and indicating he'd like to discuss it, he lost €4 million (£3.45m) on the deal. He had been expecting Spurs to bow to his wishes as had the local press.

You can read a piece about that here (opens in a new window): Soldado and the 6 million fee

So Salvo had to speak to the press and this was his posturing to them:

"Soldado can go if he wants - for €30 million and under our conditions," Salvo said at a club press conference.

"Valencia never had any intention of selling Soldado. If he goes then it is because the €30 million figure has been met, not a cent less or a cent more.

"The buying club will also have to accept Valencia's conditions of payment also.

"We agreed to meet Tottenham again to discuss the ways of paying and we did that because we understood that his buy-out clause would be met.

"Speaking about ways that deals are paid is normal and this will be done in a way that suits the financial department of Valencia and not that of any other clubs.

"We listened to him and we said what we have always said - that the price is €30m, then the boy himself can decide if he leaves and that the conditions of pay are what they are."

Once again we have a bit of PR. Now he is telling the media the player is not for sale, when he is, that Valencia don't want to sell him, when they do and puts the blame on Soldado's plate saying he'll have to tell the club he wants to leave, which he already has.

It's merely a face saving exercise so he can say later if the deal goes through he was tough and got the best deal for Valencia or if it doesn't that we never wanted to sell him in the first place.

It's all in fact rubbish.

Valencia midfielder Bernat is reported over here as having said: "

They are negotiating now. I wish him the best, he must decide. We know he has had very good seasons in Valencia, he has given us so much.

"If he stays we know he will help a lot because he scores many goals and that's good for the team; if he leaves I wish him the best."

Now that implies he is leaving and the players know he is leaving, but what he actually said, translated by the Spanish and not Google translate, was:

"Soldado has been an important player and I wish him well no matter what. I don't know if he wants to leave, it's between him and the club. I don't want to enter into that."

In actual fact all very non-committal.

Now Soldado is Valencia's star, there marketing is based around him so they would need a new star at the club to replace him. They have been looking round for a replacement although the names being mentioned command to big a salary for Valencia to be comfortable with, Chicarito (Man U) €7 million (£6.04m) salary for instance, Osvaldo (Roma) and Fred (Fluminense).

Affordable and reportedly lined up as a replacement for Soldado is Hélder Postiga (Real Zaragoza) whose salary is currently €1 million (£862,351) which is €19,230 (£16,583) a week. Soldado remember would be doubling his salary to €3.5 million (£3m) moving to Spurs, no surprise that he really wants to go.

Baldini has done his bit which was to discuss with the player and make our offer to Valencia. Stories circulating now that Soldado has made it clear he wants to join Spurs and asks Salvo to be reasonable over the fee, some suggesting a formal transfer request might happen, but that is merely idle speculation.

The players agent has told the local press he will not force a move, so he won't be handing in a transfer request. The Valencia players report back for the start of their pre-season on Saturday so naturally he is not going to burn his bridges but he wants to come and double his wages with us, who wouldn't. He can't join any other club without our knowledge as we have a first refusal agreement with Valencia, anybody makes a move for him we have to be told.

We want him, he wants us, Valencia want the money. The offer is on the table, the local press say Salvo will not change his stance. However that is over the fee, not the instalments. He is not going to get two payments, he'll get one that solves their financial problems this year and there will be room for discussion on future instalments, but not to the extent of his current demands.

It's a game of poker the money men will have to solve now but the deal is not dead, just have to find an acceptable payment plan for both parties. My guess is that that will happen and happen soon.




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