Only eight teams have been able to remain during the last ten seasons in the top flight of Spanish football. Celta accompanies Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic, Atlético, Valencia, Seville and Real Sociedad in that select club. That path of the last decade began in the Galician club with a debt shot up to 69 million euros and just signed a bankruptcy that forced it to make payments until January 2020. Today, even after the unexpected crisis of the covid , in Vigo they stick out their chests. “The piggy bank is not running out. We have a net worth of 90 million. We are among the healthiest clubs in Spain ”, explains Carlos Mouriño, president and owner of the majority shareholding of the entity. And yet, a fire clouds the Celtian ecosystem.
Celta receives Atlético this Sunday (17.30, Movistar LaLiga) hours after Mouriño showed Denis Suárez, one of the team’s best footballers, the starting gate. “We told him that it is best to bring an offer and leave,” explains the president. Coach, Chacho Coudet, who has just signed his renewal until 2024, tries to reduce from his negotiation, which is that of the ball: “Nothing deviates us from the main objective, which is the game against Atlético. I see Denis very well and I think he will improve last year. He is a very important player for us ”.
The spark that ignited the ball in which Denis is entangled, and by extension the team, ignited in summer. Celta alevín went to play the classic LaLiga Promise tournament, where he finished third, but, above all, he showed a young man with immense talent, Bryan Bugarín, Erik’s little brother, another fruit of the blue quarry that two years ago he accepted an offer from Wolverhampton and packed his bags at just 16 years old. Bryan has four less, who a month and a half after showing himself in the shop window signed a contract with Real Madrid and published a farewell letter on social networks thanking “the experiences lived.”
“They are auctioneers for children,” says Mouriño, who points to the boy’s representation agency. In a meeting with the parents of the homegrown players, he announced that all the players linked to Intermedia Sport Player and without a professional contract with the club were immediately released to sign with whoever they wanted. “They have no place at Celta,” he settled after explaining that professional ties would be fulfilled, but would not be renewed. “Those contracts will languish,” said the president.
The Intermedia Sport Player client portfolio is based, for the most part, on footballers who have or had ties with Celta. Among them are Denis Suárez and Iago Aspas, who have a signed contract until 2023. In the case of the international striker, his brother Jonathan, another former club player, works for the agency. So the conflict has the overtones of a hecatomb. “We have spoken with the two players and the conversations were completely different.”, Qualifies Mouriño.
Aspas’ contract with Celta will expire when the team’s still beacon is about to turn 36 years old. “Iago wants to continue being the banner of this team, but it will not last forever,” slides Mouriño. But Denis Suárez is 27 years old and his president places him at a crossroads. “You have to find a solution. Right now his future is not in Celta and he has two problems: that his commercial side, as a businessman, prevails over Celta and does not perform, which would be a problem for the coach; or to make an extraordinary season like Rafinha in his day and get a contract far from here. It is what I would advise. If he continues with that representative, we will not negotiate, ”insists Mouriño, who believes that the footballer has placed himself against the interests of the club.
Coudet believes that the entire crisis, which also affects Gabri Veiga and Miguel Rodríguez, two of the young people who usually work in first team dynamics, will be solved in a bloodless way: “It is an extra-sporting issue. Time will put things in order. I remain with the words of the president, who values the effort made by the player to return to Celta and who has listed him as a reference ”.
Indeed, Mouriño sees in Denis’ hands the common thread that has led from Borja Oubiña to Iago Aspas for almost 20 years and is also supported by Captain Hugo Mallo. But Coudet is a pragmatist and, at least outside the door, hardly attends to Atlético in the short term. And bluntly. Perhaps for this reason, and for tuning bagpipes and directing the focus to football, it is even encouraged to advance the line-up that will start the League against the champion. They will play the recently signed Argentine goal Dituro; Mallo, Araújo, Fontán and Javi Galán, another reinforcement, will be behind. Tapia will play in front of her and Brais Méndez and Nolito will engage from the wings with the lead formed by Aspas and Santi Mina. And as the glue of everything, in the core, will be… Denis Suárez.
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