JIM needs six players at Levante

Levante boss Juan Ignacio Martinez – known by his initials JIM – needs at least six more players before the start of next season.

The 48-year-old former Albacete and Cartagena boss – who performed a minor miracle in his first season at the Ciutat de Valencia by leading Los Granotes to a Europa League spot last term – has just 17 footballers available as his squad heads to La Manga, Murcia for the second phase of pre-season training this week.

Martinez is acutely aware he needs cover in most positions and reports in Spain suggest a central defender, at least two midfielders and two strikers are high on his list of priorities, while he only has one right-back and one left-back to call upon.

Javi Venta, Valdo and Ruben Suarez have all departed to join Villarreal, Atlante and Guizhou Renhe respectively, with Abdelkadar Ghezzal, Keylor Navas and Xavi Torres returning to their parent clubs following loan deals.

Ivory Coast international Arouna Kone, the club’s top goalscorer last term with 17, is also understood to be on the verge of leaving Levante, who are keen to balance the books after exercising their option to buy the striker after his season-long loan from Sevilla.

However, he did not appear along with the rest of the players for the departure to La Manga at 9.30am on Monday morning, despite the club having given him an extra week off.

During their time in Murcia, Levante will play local outfit Deportivo Minera on Thursday with a friendly against La Segunda side Almeria five days later.

Martinez’s men then head to Castellon where minnows Burriana will provide the opposition on July 27, before taking part in a triangular tournament the following day in Teruel against Huesca and the local team. 

Tags Juan Ignacio Martinez