Spanish outlet Levante-EMV today has a long and very interesting piece explaining how Valencia managed to sign Maxi Gomez from Celta Vigo last summer.
The Mestalla side were supposed to have a simple job by making a deal which would involve Santi Mina going the other way.
Things got a lot more complicated once West Ham became interested in Gomez. Levante says the Hammers wanted to pay for his €50m release clause, and the salary offered by them was twice the size Valencia had offered.
So Valencia had to come up with a plan. Firstly, they tried to convince Celta Vigo not to sell Gomez to West Ham. So as a first move, they made it clear Mina wouldn’y moved unless Gomez went the other way. It’s Mateu Alemany who dealt with these talks, always in touch with Gomez’s agent.
Meanwhile, Pablo Longoria had a different job. He first spoke to Rodrigo Betancur, who he brought to Juventus during his time in Italy. By knowing the midfielder is a big friend of Gomez, he tried to pass a message by pushing the advantages of choosing Valencia instead of West Ham.
“Tell him that West Ham can’t be compared to Valencia, he’ll play the Champions League here and will be able to show himself on the European stage to the best clubs in the world. Tell him that if he’s really ambitious, check the history of both clubs and above all, make sure he understands that the greats of Europe, the most powerful, are going to sign Valencia players. If his goal is to truly triumph in Europe, he won’t prove it if he marches to West Ham.”
Levante says Longoria also spoke to Gomez’s brother. It was a similar pitch, saying that when the biggest clubs want to sign players, they go to Valencia for their shopping. West Ham are seen as a club who buy players who these big sides are not happy with.
In the end, Levante puts it all as a rejection to West Ham’s money, as if Gomez had chosen a promising career over just getting rich.