Roque Mesa’s supposed transfer from Swansea City to Sevilla just got a whole lot more complicated, as Las Palmas, his former club, have waded in with their ‘first refusal option’ in an attempt to hijack the deal.
Before we go any further, let’s take a trip back to 2013, when Las Palmas sold Vitolo to Sevilla for just under £3m.
Why? Please, we beg you, put the kettle on, make yourself a brew and bear with us, and you’ll learn why this Swansea City transfer is turning into an Eastenders-like drama.
Expecting Vitolo to improve, Las Palmas inserted a clause in the deal, meaning they’d get a percentage of any future sale.
Fast forward to last summer, and they struck gold, as Sevilla were forced to sell their midfielder to Atlético Madrid after they met his release clause of €37.5m, €13m of which are said to have ended up in Las Palmas’ bank account.
However, and this is where things turn nasty, Sevilla claimed Vitolo had signed a five-year contract renewal with them two days prior, which the player then broke to force the transfer to Atlético.
If that wasn’t enough, Diego Simeone’s side weren’t allowed to register players due to their transfer ban, so instead of letting Vitolo rot in the reserves, Las Palmas agreed to take him in on loan until January, meaning they got €13m and the player.
This didn’t please Sevilla in the slightest, who decided to take legal action against all involved, including Las Palmas, who claimed they had nothing to do with the deal taking Vitolo to Atlético Madrid.
The case is still ongoing, and is expected to be solved at the end of the season.
Now Roque Mesa comes in.
Bought by Swansea from Las Palmas in the summer, the defensive midfielder arrived at Liberty Stadium with great fanfare after an impressive season in La Liga.
However, things haven’t worked out, and it seems everyone involved agreed a move away was best for Mesa, leading to the deal with Sevilla.
Except it wasn’t, because Las Palmas have now rocked up.
As we explained in the intro, the Canary Islands based club have decided to exercise their ‘first refusal option’ meaning that Swansea were forced to let them know about any offers they received for Mesa so that Las Palmas could match it if they so wished.
On Thursday, ABC in Spain published a long article explaining the situation, and made it very clear that Roque Mesa wasn’t interested in a return to his former club, seeing it as a step backwards in his career, preferring the move to Sevilla, a club currently playing in the Champions League.
The problem is, Las Palmas don’t believe that, and Miguel Angel Ramirez, the club’s president, is adamant the defensive midfielder ‘would be open’ to a move back to the Canary Islands, and that his club are in a stable enough position financially to afford matching Sevilla’s offer.
He even went as far as stating that ‘Sevilla are the ones meddling in this affair’, because ‘Roque Mesa has to come to Las Palmas’ if they match the bid.
We’re not quite sure that’s how it works, Señor Ramirez. Last we checked, the Swansea City player still has the option to say no to you.
It’s a mess, and it’s not one that’s going to be resolved quickly, because Las Palmas will ensure it isn’t.