Mexicans Abroad: Several El Tri players still face uncertainty

El Tri starlet Santiago Giménez scored his first goal of the season for Feyenoord on Sunday.(Photo by Dennis Bresser/Soccrates/Getty Images)
El Tri starlet Santiago Giménez scored his first goal of the season for Feyenoord on Sunday.(Photo by Dennis Bresser/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
El Tri players fate
El Tri defender César Montes is still looking for a new club in Europe after his team, Espanyol, suffered relegation last season. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images) /

After setting a record for most goals by a Mexican in his first season in Europe, El Tri starlet Santi Giménez got on the scoreboard for the first time on Matchday 2 over the weekend.

The 22-year-old striker ignited Feyenoord’s late comeback from 2-0 down with a header in minute 77. The Eredivisie holders got the equalizer in minute 90+1

Giménez scored 23 goals in all competitions for Feyenoord last season, an achievement that made him a popular topic in the (still ongoing) transfer rumor mill. This despite the fact that he signed a contract extension with the Dutch club on Aug. 3.

The most recent hearsay (last week) had Santi joining El Tri teammate Edson Álvarez at West Ham, although the youngster has said publicly that he’d like to play out this season in Rotterdam.

Two El Tri defenders looking for new homes

César Montes and Jorge Sánchez often play side-by-side on the El Tri back line and, as the transfer window winds down, each is looking for a new start.

Montes has told management at Espanyol that he will not play in second division and he held out for a while. The 26-year-old joined the Barcelona-based club in December and earned plaudits for his performances (he also scored three goals).

After Espanyol’s relegation, the El Tri stalwart was given permission to shop around but offers have not met the demands of the demoted club.

América stepped up with an offer but the former Monterrey man left no doubt that he intends to remain in Europe.

This past week, Mallorca renewed its interest in Montes and is hoping to convince Espanyol to show some flexibility, offering a favorable loan deal with some cash thrown in. The benefit here for Montes is that Mallorca’s manager is former El Tri boss Javier Aguirre who also coached Montes at Monterrey.

The situation with El Tri right back Sánchez is a bit more complicated though it appears that it will be resolved sooner.

Sánchez arrived at Ajax a year ago but failed to impress despite seeing action in 26 games and scoring three times. The Dutch giants have made it clear they lack confidence in the 25-year-old and are trying to cut bait.

Now it appears that Ajax is closing in on a loan deal with Porto. The Portuguese giants have had success with El Tri players in the recent past. Héctor Herrera, Jesús “Tecatito” Corona, Diego Reyes and Miguel Layún have all played for “The Dragons.”

Reports suggest that the loan agreement has a clause that would force Porto to buy out Sánchez’s contract if he appears in more than 25 games.

Two other Team Mexico stars in limbo, another targeted

Luis Chávez and Hirving Lozano are key members of El Tri but both have rather unsettled club situations.

Chávez, a 27-year-old midfielder, has been allowed to buy out his contract at Pachuca in order to pursue his dream of playing in Europe. His initial plans to move to Russia fell apart and several people have counseled him to avoid such a move. Others question the wisdom of the counsel he has been getting after it was revealed that he declined Pachuca’s offer to let him train at their grounds while he awaits his destiny.

There was talk of interest from Feyenoord, but nothing has come of that and now it appears that Chávez is on the verge of finalizing a deal with Dinamo Moscow, a move that could seriously disrupt his El Tri career.

As for Lozano, the 28-year-old winger is under contract with Napoli but management is not happy with him. Lozano is among the highest-paid players on the team’s roster, but his performance has not matched his wage-packet.

The reigning Serie A champions would like Lozano to take a pay cut as indicated by their offer to extend his contract but at a significantly reduced salary. When Lozano refused, he was briefly removed from the first-team roster, but has since been reinstated.

Now comes word of a possible offer from the Saudi Arabia league, but it is not clear if “Chucky” is seriously considering the overture from Al-Ahly.

Finally, it looks like left back Gerardo Arteaga might have a new home soon. Reports have begun circulating that Olympique de Lyon is in talks to bring the Genk man to Ligue 1.

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Team Mexico next plays two games in early September during the official FIFA break, but coach Jaime Lozano is not expected to summon players from Europe so as to allow them to settle into their new seasons and new situations.