Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where will Ayala land?

Roberto Ayala is still dangling out there waiting for someone to save him. Last Saturday, Valencia decided to open disciplinary hearings against the 32 year old after he railed against club president and Juan Buatista Soler and sporting director Amedeo Carboni. His beef has to do with the pair not honoring a promised contract extension. Oh yeah, he called them both cheats as well.

While Ayala sits in the dock in Spain, why haven't any clubs come out and said that they would be willing to take him off of the books at Valencia? The Argentine, one of the seven FIFA All-Star defenders in Germany, is easily one of the best center-backs in the world. Since his transfer over from Milan in 2000, he's led Valencia to two La Liga titles as well as to a UEFA Cup victory and to the final of the UEFA Champions League. The consummate professional, he has also has over 100 caps for Argentina.

So why hasn't anybody made a move for him? There have been rumors of interest from Newcastle and Tottenham, two teams that could definitely use a dominant central defender. Villarreal has also been mentioned, a club that seems to enjoy having South Americans on their squad. But until now, it's been just that, rumor.

Is it that Valencia would rather put one of their most popular players in recent years through the humiliation of these hearings instead of selling him? Could he still be playing at the Mestalla when all is said and done? Is there more to this story?


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