BarcelonaRDT will follow Espanyol due to the lack of agreement between the white-and-blue team and Rayo Vallecano. This has been confirmed by the presidents of both clubs. Chen Yansheng has stated in a meeting with the media that “there has been “no mistake” in the management of the RDT serial. “It is true that the player has shown his intention to leave, but he has not arrived throughout the market no offer, and on the last day we did not reach an agreement for his departure”, the Chinese businessman developed.
This version coincides with the one offered, in the wee hours of the morning, by Rayo Vallecano’s top manager, Martín Presa: “The negotiation could not be closed despite having tried by all means, putting all the resources”. According to Presa, the three parties (clubs and player) did not end up reaching an agreement despite the pact that the Vallecas club had reached with the striker in the morning. “The return of RDT excited us, he wanted to come, but sometimes there are operations that are not closed”, he said. Chen, for his part, has pointed out that the RDT case “is not a situation to be evaluated sentimentally”. A speech that contrasts with what, hours later, the general manager, Mao Ye, explained: “The RDT was not an economic negotiation, we valued other personal aspects.”
Both presidents, therefore, have denied that the last offer presented by Rayo, a few minutes before the market closed, was accepted by Espanyol. In other words, if RDT did not go to Rayo, it was not, according to the official versions, to be late in completing the registration for his signing. Both in the offices and in the Rayo dressing room, and also the RDT itself, they faced the Madrid club’s latest offensive with hope.
Therefore, after a Dantesque and unexpected final stretch of the transfer window, RDT will have to resign themselves to continue wearing white-and-blue despite doing everything possible to leave. Despite failing to get any English club to make a formal offer for him, the Madrid striker desperately sought a return to Rayo Vallecano, who activated their interest in him on the last day of the market. The operation was not finalized because, firstly, Chen Yansheng did not want to give in to RDT and refused the various offers to drop Rayo. The Spanish owner ended up accepting the final proposal, but it failed to enter the League system. one signing unexpected that should guarantee the goals that Espanyol was looking for in the market. “RDT is one of the best players in the squad, and Diego is one of the best coaches,” commented Chen, who hopes the manager and striker can understand each other.
I wanted to go to Vallecas
Early in the morning, RDT specifically asked Domingo Catoira to study the offer that Rayo Vallecano would present. “He told me that he needed to leave and return to Rayo, for a personal reason,” said Catoira. The Vallecas team quickly reached an agreement with the striker, who made it easy to make an agreement possible that, at the beginning of the market, would have seemed completely unthinkable.
The possibility of returning to Madrid, where he has a home and part of his family (including his brother Rubén, who plays for Rayo’s subsidiary), was very attractive to a RDT. The striker conveyed to the Rayo dressing room his desire to return to Vallecas, as his captain, Óscar Trejo, acknowledged. The striker had already made up his mind days ago that he would not play in European competitions next season, he could play for any club that played in European competitions. “It has never been an option for Sevilla. It was not a request from Julen Lopetegui nor did it fall within the economic parameters we believe for a striker”, commented Monchi.
But when RDT seemed to have found a club willing to submit an offer for him, he ran into the resistance of a Chen Yansheng who refused to kneel to the forward’s requests. “We couldn’t accept anything for him,” Catoira pointed out. The Madrid player knew, throughout the summer, that his exit price was around 40 million euros. This was what the Chinese businessman had conveyed to the footballer’s agents. Chen wanted a surplus for his star player, for whom he had paid 22.5 million in 2020, and did not agree to give him away. The pressure of the striker to leave wanted to make the demands of the president of Espanyol more flexible, who asked Rayo to assume the entirety of the player’s file and pay a financial amount that the white-and-blue entity had to use to tie other reinforcements Rayo tried to buy 50% of RDT for around 10 million euros, a proposal that was considered insufficient by Espanyol, who asked to raise it to around 15 million.
The last hours of the market were a pulse between presidents: Chen Yansheng did not give in to a Martín Presa who did not want to stretch his arm more than his sleeve to get a player who wanted to return to Rayo. With the market closed without an agreement between clubs, the player will have to wait until January, at least, to be able to leave. His continuity may remain a marriage of convenience between Espanyol and RDT: the club needs his goals and the player to perform in order to go to the World Cup. Now all that remains is that, once the Madrid player recovers from the physical problems that have kept him apart throughout the summer, he manages to come to an understanding with a Diego Martínez with whom he has not yet spoken about football. Forward and coach are condemned to understand each other for the good of the team.
“Now is not the best time for him, we had a personal conversation, but now there is the professional part, you have to accept it and see how he recovers from the physical discomfort and rejoins the group. We hope he puts his predisposition and go back to normal,” said Domingo Catoira.
Braithwaite comes free
While waiting for the outcome of the RDT series, which was not resolved until late at night, Espanyol tried to unlock some of the options that were on the table. The fastest was that of Martin Braithwaite, who passed his medical in the morning and, shortly afterwards, terminated his contract with Barça. The Dane, who wanted to stay at Barcelona, has signed with Espanyol until 2025 as a free agent.
“I am very happy to play for Espanyol, for the possibility of continuing to play in Barcelona and for the club’s project, which has values like mine,” explained Braithwaite in his presentation.
Before the closing of the market, the white-and-blue club tried without success to strengthen two more positions: the winger and the center. On the one hand, it did not reach the figures that Alabès requested for Rioja. The continuity of RDT prevented launching an offensive by Justin Kluivert, who will play for Valencia. He also tried, without success, to obtain the transfers of César Montes (Monterrey) and Boubakar Kouyaté (Metz).
Positive market valuation
Chen Yansheng has also taken stock of the transfer market. The white-and-blue president has assured that he would give “a high rating” to the technical secretariat. “He has managed to sign the first choice from the bench, Diego Martínez, and I think we have a more competitive team, we have improved compared to the past. We don’t have a top ten, but good reinforcements have been made”, said Yansheng.
The Spanish president has also defended that they have not had any big sales for three years. “We have invested and improved the squad without getting rid of key players,” he pointed out.
Regarding the closing of the market, Domingo Catoira has explained that they did not want to sign any center back after the first option they were working with (César Montes) fell through. Discarding this profile, the club will bet on Simo, from the youth team.