Big trouble in big China for Rayo Vallecano

Sponsors influencing club signings and the unlikely return of a former hero for one of Madrid's La Liga outfits?

Rayo Vallecano discovered what anyone who has been around the world a bit already knows. Going on holiday with loved-ones and even top buddies tends to be a really unpleasant experience. Airports, cattle-herding, being hot all the time, dragged around museums, iffy hotels, food being all foreign and stuff. All these triggers can set off a week-long frost fest even for those who insist on referring to their partners as their ‘better halves’. Which should be made illegal, instantly. 

The Madrid club were breathing in rarified airs for the past couple of weeks by heading off to China, the home of the team’s new sponsors, All simple enough. Probably an awful lot more fun than plodding around playing local sides like Alcorcon all summer. 

China crisis

Instead, tensions kicked off a little with the signing of Chinese player, Zhang Chengdong, a wideman who has joined from Beijing Guoan. Paco Jémez was none too pleased about the acquisition of the footballer, feeling that it was a move imposed on the team by the sponsors. 

This is possibly the worst decision that has been taken since I have been here

- Paco Jémez

“I don't believe that anyone from outside the club should interfere in sporting matters,” complained the Rayo boss to Spanish radio station, Cadena Ser. “This is possibly the worst decision that has been taken since I've been here. You can't allow a sponsor to bring in a player.” Jémez then went on to complain about having to travel to China, but probably wasn’t moaning about the sponsors paying the salary of himself and his players, something that hasn’t always happened with Rayo in the past. 

The stance from the Rayo boss demanded a stern rebuke, and that was forthcoming from sporting director Felipe Miñambres, who said: “I’m not fussed about him complaining, what I don’t like is the lying,” dealing with the claim from Jémez that he was the last to know the footballer was heading to Vallecas. 


Is Michu set to return to Spain?

Miñambres pointed out that Jémez knew a couple of years ago that the footballer was being looked at by the club. Back in Madrid, the Rayo ruler said that he knew the player might be coming but was peeved that he wasn't included in the decision. There may be happier faces all round in the normally chirpy Vallecas world if an old face comes back to weigh in with some goals. Michu is ready to return to Spain after three years away with Swansea and then a loan move at Napoli. However, a Premier League salary could be a major issue. Unless some sponsors want to help Jémez change his tune a little.

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