Independiente lifting the Copa Sudamericana last year saw two key figures leave the club and while Nicolás Tagliafico and Ezequiel Barco were never really replaced during the previous transfer window, El Rojo have made up for lost time with several positive moves over the past month.
Aside from some exciting new additions, the club have learned from the prior mistakes of allowing such important players to leave for less than their market value by securing longer contracts and increased release clauses for all of their current assets.
Undoubtedly the greatest of those, Maxi Meza, finally put pen to paper on a new deal on Saturday prior to the squad flying to Japan for the Suruga Bank Trophy.
¡Maxi es del Rojo!
— C. A. Independiente (@Independiente) July 28, 2018
The midfielder was part of Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina squad in Russia and despite not demonstrating his quality, like most of the disappointing Albiceleste side, the concern for Independiente was that one of several European suitors would pay the relatively cheap release clause of $12 million.
Meza’s agent certainly seemed in no rush to negotiate a new deal with Independiente but with no sign of a concrete offer from the likes of Real Sociedad or Valencia, the 26-year-old was eager to resolve his future before travelling to face Cerezo Osaka.
A deal has now been agreed and Meza signed an improved contract that runs until 2021 and importantly contains an increased release clause of $25 million.
— Nelson Lafit (@nelsonlafit) July 28, 2018
And Meza isn’t the only one. Martín Benítez inked a new deal with a release clause of $20 million after a reported bid from Liga MX club Santos Laguna, youngsters Fabricio Bustos and Alan Franco extended their current deals and manager Ariel Holan signed on until 2021.
After years of failure and upheaval, Holan has implemented a strategy and an identity and after lifting the Copa Sudamericana, the club have been put their trust in the 57-year-old.
Es oficial: #ElPochoEsDelRojo 😎
— C. A. Independiente (@Independiente) July 27, 2018