Alvaro Negredo: Where Will the Sevilla Striker Be Next Season?

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2013

DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 26:  In this handout image provided by UEFA, Alvaro Negredo of Spain talks to the media during a UEFA EURO 2012 press conference at the Donbass Arena on June 26, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Handout/UEFA via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo is not quite holding his club to ransom just yet, but he has made it clear that he has desires to depart Andalusia this summer.

President Jose Maria del Nido recently told the club's television channel, via Sky Sports, that the 27-year-old has voiced his intent to leave.

Negredo's ability and availability will undoubtedly alert a lot of clubs, but he's unlikely to be available for a bargain price. Sevilla have already sold Jesus Navas, Luis Alberto and Antonio Luna this summer, lessening the pressure on them to sell their star striker on a whim.

Del Nido will have to balance the club's want to hang out for a good fee with the player's want to move on. Athletic Bilbao fought hard to keep Fernando Lllorente last summer, but in hindsight, they'd have been better off selling; Del Nido may have that in his mind, via The Manchester Evening News:

We need to weigh up if it's good for a player to stay against his will. The player hasn't put his foot down and told me 'I want to go', but he has said that he wants to develop and wants to play in the Champions League. We won't forget that that will of the player is very important for making a decision.

Born in Madrid, Negredo's breakthrough in football came at Rayo Vallecano, before he secured a move to Real Madrid Castilla. Unable to break into the first team at Madrid, despite Fabio Capello being a known admirer at one point, it was at Almeria where Negredo eventually made his mark in La Liga, averaging a goal every other game.

Los Blancos re-purchased him for €5 million two years later, only to sell him to Sevilla the same summer for €15 million. In the four seasons since, Negredo has never failed to hit double figures in the Primera Division and, with 25 goals, last season was his most successful to date.

His goals came in 36 matches, with a conversion rate of 19.5 percent—taking one in five of his chances. He prefers his left foot (15 were dispatched with it), although five more were scored with his right foot. The striker, who stands at 6'1", notched five with his head, too, via Squawka.

And it's those statistics which have piqued the interest of several European clubs.

West Ham, via the BBC, had a €17 million bid rejected at the beginning of June, but it will need to be both a higher fee and a club who can offer European football to tempt Sevilla to sell and Negredo to leave.

Del Nido, via Sky Sports, has already confirmed Atletico Madrid's interest in the striker. Los Rojiblancos are looking for a No. 9 to replace the departed Radamel Falcao, and Negredo fits their bill and, with Champions League qualification assured, they fit his.

Sevilla's president also confirmed the interest of another European club, from outside of Spain.

The Manchester Evening News suggest that either one of United or City could be interested. David Moyes was a known admirer of the forward while at Everton, and Manuel Pellegrini is looking for reinforcements following the recent sales of Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez.

Napoli have also possessed an interest in the striker, but AS say, via Football-Italia, that they, along with Atletico, may have been put off by Sevilla's request for €20-25 million for the striker, with the majority up front.

In the past, Everton and Tottenham, via The Express, have also been linked with the Spaniard, but it's doubtful either of them would be willing to pay the asking price; neither can offer Champions League football either.

With the apparent reduction in Atletico's interest, there appears to be no front-runner in the queue for Negredo's signature. Del Nido has made it clear that the club are under no pressure to sell, leaving two circumstances in which the forward leaves the club.

One option would see Negredo forcing the club's hand. He was disappointed to have been omitted from Spain's Confederations Cup squad and may feel Champions League participation will increase his chances of going to next summer's World Cup.

The club may then feel it is best if he leaves and cash in for less than they're demanding at the moment, even though four years remain on his contract.

In the other scenario, a club like Manchester City will possibly meet Sevilla's demands if they fail to land other targets as the transfer window stretches on.

As things stand though, despite mass interest, there doesn't seem to be a club ready to meet Sevilla's valuation to land Alvaro Negredo.