The days of Emanuel Villa at Cruz Azul are numbered. Earlier this week, Villa’s representative met with Cruz Azul directors and was told that the Argentine striker’s contract would not be renewed. Villa’s contract is set to expire after the upcoming Clausura 2012 tournament.
The news of Villa’s imminent departure has fans scratching their heads. Since his arrival at the club in 2009, Villa has been one of the Primera Division’s most prolific goal scorers tallying a total of 56 goals in official matches for La Máquina.
Cruz Azul also announced the arrival of former Sporting Kansas City forward Omar Bravo. Bravo returns to his native Mexico after a modest contribution of 9 goals in his first Major League Soccer stint.
Given the timing of Bravo’s signing, one can’t help but see him as a replacement for Villa. His recent disappointments with Chivas and Tigres paint his signing as somewhat of a gamble for a club that has gone 14 years without a league title.
The circumstances of Villa’s contract are sure to draw interest in the player from other clubs. Apertura 2011 champions Tigres are already rumored to be interested in his services. Strikers of his stature are always in high demand, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he finds a new club before the winter transfer window closes.
Cruz Azul has apparently pulled out of the sweepstakes for 2006 World Cup winner Mauro Camoranesi. If Villa does depart before the start of the new tournament, it would be interesting to see how the club takes advantage of the would-be vacant spot for a foreigner.
Despite his current situation, Villa has stated that he remains committed to winning a championship with Cruz Azul. Something that is long overdue for a team that is amongst the most popular in the country.