Sergio Canales: From Real Madrid's Next Superstar to Valencia's Unwanted Man

Guillem Balague@@GuillemBalagueFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2014

VALENCIA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 10:  Sergio Canales of Valencia controls the ball during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Real Valladolid CF at Estadio Mestalla on November 30, 2013 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

With the transfer window ticking down, speculation continues apace about the future destination of Valencia's Cantabrian midfielder Sergio Canales.

One of the hottest young properties in Spanish football not long ago, his move from Santander to Real Madrid never really worked out. Instead he went on loan to Valencia at the end of July 2011 before they bought him for €7.5 million before the start of the 2012 season.

Now feeling unwanted by manager Juan Antonio Pizzi, it looks like he's going on his travels again, wanted by Premier League teams and Real Sociedad plus Getafe.

PASADENA, CA - AUGUST 07:  Sergio Canales of Real Madrid before the start of the pre-season friendly soccer match against Los Angeles Galaxy on August 7, 2010 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Real Madrid will travel back to Spain after the soccer
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With a reputation that precedes him, there are many clubs that would like him in their ranks but at this stage, bearing in mind that they haven't seen him play that much, only on loan. Valencia will be looking to sell him with a view of recouping some, if not all, of the money they paid Real Madrid for him.

Canales, though, is forcing the club to let him go, and it has been leaked to me that he wants to go to Real Sociedad.

ELCHE, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24:  Sergio Canales of Valencia reacts as he fails to score during the La Liga match between Elche FC and Valencia CF at Manuel Martinez Valero on November 24, 2013 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Ima
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Pizzi is not impressed with the player's decision to look for the exit door at the first obstacle and would be much more impressed if he would demonstrate a desire to stay and fight for his place at a club that needs, now more than ever, a team prepared to fight together. 

But the Canales issue is small potatoes to what's going on behind the scenes over just who is going to be the new owner of the cash-strapped club.

Club president Amadeo Salvo and the foundation who own most of the club shares are desperately keen to sell the club, but more than that, they are keen to be the people who decide who the new owners should be.

And it's here that the club and major club creditor, Bankia, part company unsurprisingly when one considers that the bank are owed something in the region of 260 million euros and as such feel well within the rights to decide who the new owners will be.

Amadeo Salvo's preferred choice is the Singapore businessman Peter Lim, which is a shame for him because it isn't Bankia's. To make matters more complicated, the bank will not divulge who the other bidders are, other than to say that there are more attractive offers on the table.

Amadeo Salvo's preferred choice is the Singapore businessman Peter Lim.
Amadeo Salvo's preferred choice is the Singapore businessman Peter Lim.Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

There is talk about three other offers and everything is being handled in an atmosphere of intrigue and secrecy. Salvo would like Lim's offer accepted, partly because he believes it's a good deal for the club, partly because he knows the details of the offer, and not forgetting the fact that the Lim deal would keep him at the club.

What he would also like is details of the other offers, but Bankia aren't saying.

Meanwhile the former Valencia player Juan Mata hit the ground running in his debut for Manchester United against Cardiff. Reviews of his performance were generally very good, with the consensus being that this was potentially a match made in heaven

David Moyes will probably play him in a variety of attacking midfield positions, be it as a number 7, 10 or 11. In a window where there has been a distinct lack of top class available, a player of Mata's quality, matched with his hunger, was a rarity.

He will limit the ground that, up to now, Wayne Rooney has felt obliged to patrol, and fundamentally it's all about trying to find that quality in the last third of what is still a very unbalanced team.

Finally people are beginning to realise that, even though United won the league last year, as I said from the beginning of the season, they need six or seven new faces in their lineup.


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