In the past few days Martin Caceres has been ‘close’ to a move to Turkey (where he flew a couple of weeks ago), ‘close’ to a move to Crystal Palace, linked with Sunderland, ‘very close’ to joining a big team in Uruguay, had a medical with AC Milan but rejected their terms, and then, reportedly, flown to England for a medical with Southampton.
As ever, it’s all about money, and Crystal Palace, Southampton, and Sunderland can, in this modern football world, offer better wages than AC Milan. As the Milan deal failed, in Italy it was assumed Caceres would be off to Sam Allardyce and Crystal Palace.
It didn’t take long for the claimed location to turn to Southampton, with reports, again originating in Italy, that Caceres was flying to England for a medical with Claude Puel’s side. With the sale of Jose Fonte and loss of Virgil Van Dyke to injury, having another versatile defender about the place for a few months was a conceivable idea.
Corriere dello Sport reported that Southampton had offered a package worth a little less than €1m for the rest of the season, plus the carrot of a longer deal if things went well. That was around double what Milan offered.
Assuming this is all true, just because Caceres has had a medical it doesn’t end things, as Milan proved. Should Crystal Palace, Sunderland, or anyone else, offer a better deal then the likelihood is it would be accepted.
Failing agreeing terms in Europe could lead Caceres back to Uruguay, with the country’s Radio Monte Carlo reporting a couple of days ago that the defender was ‘very close’ to a return.
Martin Caceres is 29 years of age, he hasn’t played football for a year. Suffering an achilies injury in February 2016, Caceres saw his Juventus contract end in June. Fit again in October, the versatile defender hasn’t signed up with a club since.
Whether it’s Southampton, Crystal Palace, Sunderland or anyone else, the footballer needs to get back playing soon, for whatever type of contract he’s offered.
From the clubs’ perspectives, this is a player who hasn’t been on a pitch for a year, and the previous year he also missed more than 150 days with injury. In 2014 it was a relatively reasonable 70 days of the season missed, and in 2013 Caceres was out for around 90 days. It may not be worth continually upping the offer to beat someone else, perhaps look towards the youth academy if needed.