Is Baldini raiding Pochettino's former club Espanyol?

Franco Baldini flew to Barcelona on Tuesday to hold discussions with them but also no doubt to have a mini tour of Spain taking in talks with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Malaga among others.

He may also taking in Mauricio Pochettino's former club, Barcelona based Espanyol who have three players attracting interest from bigger clubs. Two of those may well be of interest to us, a keeper and a centre-back.

He will know all about 27 year-old goalkeeper Kiko Casilla who was a target for Jose Mourinho when in charge at Real Madrid. He is thought to be a target for Arsenal and Manchester United this summer.

Is Baldini raiding Pochettino's former club Espanyol

He was a Real Madrid youth player, played for their B and C teams, played for Spain U19 and won one U21 cap. Like Hugo Lloris he is a keeper who is quite happy to come off his line so with the high line defence we will be playing next season he is certainly an option.

Midfielder Álex Fernández was signed from Real Madrid on a free transfer but with a £4.07 million (€5m) buy-back clause. The 21 year-old has three years left on his contract and is wanted by Liverpool who tried to sign him last summer.

Is Baldini raiding Pochettino's former club Espanyol

Álex, as he is known, made 22 appearances in La Liga last season and 6 in the Copa del Rey, but only 2 actual starts in each competitions, something he is not happy with and is seeking talks about. He does indicate though that he is not looking to leave.

“It all depends on the manager and we’re talking with the club to see what role I’ll have in the team, because I want to be an important player for Espanyol.

“I don’t think these talks will produce any radical change, such as me leaving, but it will depend on what they say and if we can change a couple of things. I’ve played less than I was hoping to and it’s not a comfortable situation to be in.

“I do want to stay here, I’m very happy. Everyone treats me really well, but the fact is I also need to play and I want to feel more comfortable.”

Defender Héctor Moreno is a target for Louis Van Gaal at Manchester United. The 26 year-old Mexican centre-back, unlike Álex, is keen to leave Espanyol. 

Is Baldini raiding Pochettino's former club Espanyol?

Eduardo Hernandez is the players agent and he issued a come and get me plea to prospective buyers who did include Southampton, Everton and AC Milan.

"Moreno is leaving Espanyol. He wants to leave and we're looking for another team in Europe."

Inter want him to partner Former Old Trafford player Vidic but he played under Van Gaal ay AZ Alkmaar. Cardiff and Swansea bid £4 million (€4.91m) last summer, it is thought double that would be needed.

Moreno has expressed his desire to play in Europe but feels he isn't going to achieve it with Espanyol.

"It may be at the end of season or in two years, when my contract ends. When I came to Espanyol three years ago I knew that the main objective was safety and then fighting for Europe, but in three years there has been little improvement.

"My desire is to reach Europe with this club, but I do not know if I can get there in the end. Here I learned a lot and I've grown as a player."

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