In today’s Liga MX Hot Stove League update, we’ll take a different approach. We’ll start by dispelling rumors instead of sharing them.
With a condensed transfer window ahead of the Apertura 2022 season – kick-off is just over three weeks away – Liga MX general managers are scrambling to fill out their rosters, while pundits and fans (mostly fans who think they’re pundits) are spreading rumors about moves and acquisitions.
Of course, that is what makes the Hot Stove League so interesting. What Tigres fan didn’t gasp in excitement when he/she saw that Olympique Marseille legend Dmitri Payet was being recruited to move to the Liga MX giant?
Of course, more often than not, these big scoops prove to be speculation or mere fantasy. At times, they reflect that an inquiry was made, not that negotiations are under way. And yet, at times they turn out to be true.
Things fall apart, even transfers
Let’s start with the Payet-to-Tigres story, which apparently originated in France. After French sports daily RMC Sport “broke the story,” the Mexican sports media landscape burst with reports about the “imminent bombshell signing.”
Some reports declared that Frenchmen André-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin (both were teammates of Payet at Marseille) were heavily recruiting the 35-year-old playmaker.
On Tuesday, Payet published on Instagram that he had no intention of leaving Olympique and that he planned on retiring with the club. The day before that, AS Mexico pooh-poohed the story which had grown to speculate that the Tigres would send Thauvin back to Marseille as part of the deal, a move which made no sense since Thauvin is 6 years younger and cost a lot of money to acquire in the first place. So much for that story …
Liga MX giants don’t always get what they want
Israel Reyes is a 22-year-old defenseman whose performances with Puebla have earned him two caps with Mexico’s national team. Naturally, Liga MX giant América was in hot pursuit as it seeks to rejuvenate its defense.
Last week, Record sports daily reported that “talks between América and Puebla for the services of defender Israel Reyes are said to be quite advanced.” The article made the case that the acquisition of Reyes would bolster the Aguilas’ back line while also allowing the Liga MX powerhouse to cut loose a foreign defender and open up a roster spot for a foreign striker.
On Wednesday, Puebla team president Manuel Jiménez declared that Reyes is going nowhere. That story was also published by Record by their columnist “El Francotirador” who explained that one of coach Nicolás Larcamón’s demands before he signed his contract extension last month was that the base of the team be kept in place and Reyes is a key component of the Camoteros’ back line.
Betraying trust to break a story
There’s been plenty of hype about the Chivas trying to obtain All-Star midfielder Víctor “El Pocho” Guzmán from Pachuca, a two-and-a-half years after trading for him.
Yes, you read that right. Back in January 2020, Guadalajara GM Ricardo Peláez purchased Guzmán’s contract from Pachuca only to see the deal voided when “El Pocho” failed a drugs test and was eventually suspended for nine months.
Now, with the Chivas academy product (Guadalajara loaned the then-20-year-old Guzmán to the Tuzos back in 2015 and Pachuca purchased his contract a year later) playing at an All-Star level again, “El Rebaño Sagrado” was trying to bring the Guadalajara native back home.
Earlier this week, we heard Peláez was negotiating and Guzmán was interested. Now, we find out no deal is in the works. Guzmán claims he does not want to leave Pachuca, perhaps figuring he has a quicker path to Europe if he remains with the Liga MX runners-up.
On Thursday, “El Francotirador” (yep, him again) described shared a story of how the journalist André Marín earlier this week posted on his social media accounts audio of a conversation with Pachuca president Jesús Martínez in which the Top Tuzo declared “the Chivas were not truly interested in Guzmán.”
Martínez is evidently furious that the confidentiality of a chat was betrayed though nobody denied the veracity of his declaration. And beyond that breach of trust, the story about “El Pocho” heading to Guadalajara has faded away.
Just another ho-hum week in between Liga MX seasons as teams bide their time in preparation for the Apertura 2022.