River Plate defender Germán Pezzella looks set to be the latest talented youngster to exit the Monumental for Europe, with La Liga side, Real Betis poised to sign the 23-year-old. The Spanish club have confirmed the negotiations and although it is yet to be confirmed, Pezzella might have played his last match for River.
Betis president, Juan Carlos Olleros confirmed with reporters that they are discussing the transfer of Pezzella with River and although he provided no details it is understood that they would pay around €2 million for 50% ownership of the player. Olleros said: “It is our custom not to talk about the offer if the negotiation has not finished. In this moment, River have asked for more than we offered. Now I have no news but we have a lot of time to negotiate.”
The Argentine press suggest that a deal is close and although Pezzella is not necessarily a starter for River, Marcelo Gallardo would be loathed to see him depart. Over the past two years, Pezzella has proved to be an excellent back-up and late in games poses a real aeriel threat if River are in need of a goal.
One potential sticking point is that River have a Copa Libertadores semi final still to play and Gallardo will not want his squad weakened ahead of this. Some had suggested that a deal could be made which would still allow Pezzella to be available for the Libertadores but Olleros appeared to quash this, saying: “My coach would kill me if we signed him and then allowed him to play the semi-final.”
River obviously have their own transfer plans and with Nicolás Bertolo already signed and Javier Saviola returning, the club are in need of a boost in funds. However, with potentially Pezzella, Ariel Rojas and Rodrigo Mora all gone ahead of a crucial period in River’s season, Gallardo has fewer options at present.
Since coming through River’s youth sides, Pezzella has always been highly regarded but at 23 and with playing time still hard to comeby perhaps a move away from the Monumental is needed.