Transfer News: Cruz Azul to swap Romo for Charlie?

Luis Romo (right) appears set to follow Roberto Alvarado (center) out the door. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Luis Romo (right) appears set to follow Roberto Alvarado (center) out the door. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Cruz Azul Romo Charlie
Carlos Rodríguez could be on his way from Monterrey to Cruz Azul for the Clausura 2022 season. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Cruz Azul is preparing a second bronze medalist-for-bronze medalist swap as a Luis Romo-for Charlie Rodríguez trade appears imminent.

Just days after sending winger Roberto Alvarado to the Chivas for winger Uriel Antuna and left back Alejandro Mayorga (not a bronze medalist), the Cementeros are set to acquire the dynamic Rodríguez from Monterrey on a four-year contract and he’ll slot right into one of the holes in the Cruz Azul midfield.

Romo is not expected to sign a contract extension as he’s hoping to find his way to Europe next summer. The midfield stud hopes to thrive in Javier Aguirre’s system as part of an all-star Rayados cast and he is out of contract next December.

The Romo-for-Rodríguez transaction has not been completed but both players have agreed to the terms of the deal so we expect it to be finalized in the coming days.

Cruz Azul roster shuffle continues apace

Also on the verge of leaving “La Máquina Azul” is star striker Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodríguez. His move would not be a big surprise since his agent asked for a wage increase. The Cruz Azul front office is already strapped for cash and is focused on filling a number of roster slots.

Several key members of the Guardianes 2021 title-winning team are already out the door: top playmaker Orbelín Pineda is in Spain (Celta de Vigo), midfielders Yoshimar Yotún and Walter Montoya are out of contract and defender Alexis Peña is back with Guadalajara after his loan deal with the Cementeros ended.

Two other prime contributors to Cruz Azul’s ninth Liga MX title – midfielder Guillermo “Pol” Fernández and defender Juan Escobar – are out of contract in June so the front office is frantically working to negotiate extensions or find a short-term trade partner.

The departure of Romo would leave 32-year-old Rafa Baca as the sole remaining starting midfielder from the championship team (21-year-old Alexis Gutiérrez was on the roster, but saw little playing time).

If the trade with Monterrey pans out, Cruz Azul coach Juan Reynoso will surely plug Charlie into his starting 11 as the soon-to-be 25-year-old could quickly take charge in midfield.

Cementeros attack undergoing a face-lift, too

If “Cabecita” is sent abroad – Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr is reportedly flashing a bucket-full of cash that would fund Cruz Azul’s search for more midfielders – that would leave Santiago Giménez and Brayan Angulo as the lone holdovers from the championship front line.

While Giménez – still just 20 years old – is likely to be penciled in as the point man, Angulo’s status has grown uncertain. The 26-year-old Ecuadorian has been a no-show in training camp this week. Club officials have declined to provide details, but last month Angulo had spoken about moving to another team and he is out of contract in June. If the striker insists on a move, Cruz Azul would likely try to oblige so as to avoid losing him on a free this coming summer.

Joining Giménez on the front line will be newcomers Christian Tabó (from Puebla) and Antuna, as well as two players returning from loan deals – striker Pablo Ceppelini and winger Alex Castro. Ceppelini had 8 goals with Uruguay’s Peñarol last season while Castro had 4 goals and 6 assists for Colombia’s Nacional.

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The Cementeros are back in their Mexico City training grounds after holding a week-long session in Cancún that included a Dec. 20 exhibition match against Liga MX Expansión side Venados de Mérida.