Espanyol fans might have relishing the start of the new season with the prospect of Joselu Mato up front alongside Raul de Tomas. However the chances of their star forward starting in the opening fixture with Joselu seem slim.
Reports had emerged of a breakdown in relations between manager Diego Martinez and de Tomas in July, which were then backed up by the fact the latter was left out of Espanyol’s squad to face Brighton in a preseason friendly.
The two reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye during their first meeting and it appears matters have only gotten worse. Mundo Deportivo have carried a report made by Marta Mendoza on La Grada, which claims that de Tomas suggested to Martinez that he stay at Espanyol until January. De Tomas wants stability so that he can earn a place in Spain’s World Cup squad and then a departure in the winter window would suit him and might increase his price too.
That didn’t go down well with Martinez, who does not approve of RDT’s lack of commitment. Since, he has been training apart.
The 27-year-old has been linked with the likes of Sevilla, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich this summer, but might find it difficult to leave. Espanyol will demand in the range of €25-40m for his signature and he has a contract until 2026.
A further report from Mundo Deportivo, picked up from Diario AS, states that Espanyol are already considering his replacement. One of the names on their list is Paco Alcacer. This would suit his current club Villarreal, who are keen to move their once record-signing onwards, after a drop in performance. Moving his salary is also the key to funding further deals for the Yellow Submarine.
The situation is at a stalemate at the moment. Unless someone puts down good money for de Tomas, Espanyol will be unlikely to part with arguably their largest asset. Equally, it seems unlikely that relations between Martinez and de Tomas will improve any time soon.