Uncertainty in front office has Guadalajara fans wondering what to expect

Chivas' lofty summer transfer plans upended by Fernando Hierro's departure
Guadalajara coach Fernando Gago has been left to wonder how the Chivas locker room will be look in the upcoming season.
Guadalajara coach Fernando Gago has been left to wonder how the Chivas locker room will be look in the upcoming season. / Manuel Velasquez/GettyImages

As the Chivas’ season was winding down, then-general manager Fernando Hierro was busy trying to upgrade the Guadalajara roster.

Before we learned that the Real Madrid legend would be leaving for a job in the Saudi League, Hierro sought to coax El Tri wingers Hirving "Chucky" Lozano and Orbelín Pineda to return from Europe to play for “El Rebaño Sagrado” in Liga MX.

Despite his best efforts, he could not close the deals. Instead, “Chucky” is expected to sign with the new MLS franchise in San Diego while Pineda remains under contract with AEK Athens through 2027.

Hierro also spent time recruiting Mazatlán FC starlet Andrés Montaño. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder is one of the top players on the Cañoneros roster and is a member of Mexico’s Under-23 this summer as it prepares to participate in the prestigious Toulon Tournament.

However, the latest Hot Stove rumors this week have Montaño headed to Cruz Azul, forcing the Chivas to return to the drawing board as they try to strengthen an offense that finished 9th in Liga MX with 24 goals in 17 matches.

After a few days of confusion, Guadalajara announced that a triumvirate would replace Hierro. This will allow us to simultaneously test the veracity of the opposing maxims "Three heads are better than one" and "Too many cooks spoil the broth."

In the meantime, the transfer rumors continue to swirl.

Long-time El Tri left fullback Jesus Gallardo has been linked to Chivas for a few seasons now, especially after Mexico starlet Gerardo Arteaga was signed by Monterrey. This past season, Arteaga beat out Gallardo for the starting job and Gallardo was moved into a role as winger. Still, the 29-year-old Pumas alumnus seems like an attractive option for Guadalajara.

Gallardo appears to be on the trade block, but Guadalajara's front office musical chairs might cost them a shot at the veteran as América is taking a look at him. A chance to play with the two-time defending Liga MX champs might be more enticing to Gallardo.

In the interim, Monterrey offered defender Héctor Moreno to Guadalajara. The Chivas already have a pair of young studs in central defense – Jesús Orozco Chiquete and Gilberto "Tiba" Sepúlveda – but a grizzled veteran like the 36-year-old Moreno could be a valuable locker room edition and a security blanket for the back line

Even more than that, however, the Chivas are said to be fielding offers from Serie A clubs for Orozco, with Torino, Genoa and Udinese mentioned as suitors. And Tigres are reportedly lining up to make a bid for "Tiba." Does that make a move for Moreno more urgent?

Up front, Guadalajara appears to be eager to make an offer for attacking midfielder Jordan Carrillo, an emerging star with Santos Laguna and a key member of Mexico's Under-23 team. He'd be a nice fit.

Then came a report that Monterrey was dangling Jordi Cortizo in front of the Chivas. Cortizo, a more mature playmaker than Carrillo who has earned a spot on Team Mexico's preliminary Copa América roster, is tired of coming off the bench in Monterrey and wants a chance to be a full-time starter.

That certainly seemed appealing ... until word about the negotiations leaked out. At first, a Víctor Guzmán for Cortizo swap was reported, then came the bombshell: The Rayados want Roberto Alvarado and Orozco in the deal.

That seems ridiculous, even if a hefty wad of pesos is included in the deal. Alvarado was Guadalajara's primary offensive star this past season and Orozco could conceivably bring in a considerable windfall if he is sold on the open market.

At the same time, Chivas are trying to offload J.J. Macías (a return to León where he starred for the Esmeraldas, scoring 19 goals in 2019, could be in the cards, especially if "La Fiera" sells their Uruguayan striker Federico Viñas) as the oft-injured striker is not in coach Fernando Gago's plans. Management would prefer to strike a sale, but there might be no option but to accept a loan deal, and that doesn't really help the club's bottom line.


So, with training camp opening this week, Guadalajara's front office chaos could delay the team's transfer business and this while the Chivas line-up definitely needs some tweaking before the Apertura 2024 kicks off late next month.