The resumption of the Apertura 2023 calendar is days away so it’s a perfect time to catch up on rumored arrivals, recent departures and failed transactions that have made headlines in Liga MX.
After a four-week break to take part in the ill-fated Concacaf Leagues Cup, Liga MX teams are no doubt thrilled to get back to playing some home games.
Matchday 4 will kick off with eight contests (Monterrey, the lone remaining Liga MX team in the Leagues Cup, will see its game against Tijuana postponed).
Six teams have been on ice since July 31, while Querétaro was just eliminated from Leagues Cup on Friday night.
Rayados come up short, but hope remains
Monterrey was in serious negotiations to bring Tottenham playmaker Lucas Moura to Liga MX, but the Brazilian opted to sign a short-term deal with São Paulo.
Moura, 30, returns to his original club after 1 years in Europe (he also played for Paris St. Germain) but he hinted that he might reconsider Monterrey’s offer in January.
Another whisper campaign suggested that “Tecatito” Corona could be set for a Rayados reunion after word leaked out that Sevilla was willing to sell the frisky winger.
Corona – a product of the Monterrey academy system – missed most of last season with an ankle fracture that also cost him a spot on Mexico’s World Cup team.
Adios to Liga MX
Two Argentine forwards are moving back home after deals were finalized this past week.
Tijuana’s Alexis Canelo is headed to Independiente while Augusto Lotti is leaving Cruz Azul for Lanús.
Canelo – a former Liga MX scoring champion (Clausura 2021) – arrived to Liga MX back in 2016 but bounced around the league (Chiapas and Puebla) before finding a home at Toluca.
The 31-year-old scored 56 goals during his five years with the Diablos Rojos, netting 20 times in the 2020-21 seasons. Canelo spent the past two seasons with Tijuana but never settled in.
Lotti had much less impact in the Liga MX, joining Cruz Azul a year ago. The 27-year-old striker failed to win the starting job and contributed just 3 goals in 22 appearances.
Cruz Azul misses its target
“La Máquina Azul” was preparing a bombshell signing this week but instead the transaction blew up in its face. Of course, that is no real surprise as Cruz Azul boasts one of the most inept front offices in Liga MX.
Real Betis star Willian José was close to signing a contract with the Cementeros who had dug deep to offer the 31-year-old striker a $10 million-dollar deal.
It turns out that the Brazilian front-man never really intended to move to Liga MX and would prefer to remain in Europe even if in a smaller league.
One Cruz Azul website hinted that the jokers in charge at La Noria now have set their sights on Dario Benedetto, 33, who is under contract with Boca Juniors.
Benedetto spent six seasons in Liga MX with Tijuana and América, helping the Aguilas win back-to-back Concacaf Champions League titles in 2015 and 2016.
Another option being considered is reportedly Talleres de Córdoba striker Michael Santos.
América defender in doubt for Matchday 4
Sebastián Cáceres suffered a broken nose during América’s Round of 16 match against Nashville SC on Aug. 8 but gamely finished the game. However, the 23-year-old Uruguayan underwent surgery on Friday and will be sidelined for at least two weeks.