Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, Monchi, predicted last Thursday, when analyzing the Champions League draw, some “tumultuous” final days for Sevilla in the transfer market. And no one better for a riot than Lucas Ocampos, pure ardor. When the summer window opened, the Argentine winger was one of the favorite players to start and swell Sevilla’s coffers, but it has not been until now that real, solid interest has arrived. He comes from Amsterdam. Of an aristocrat of European football, such as Ajax. The Dutch club, according to various sources, has already contacted the player, who at 28 would have decided to accept the proposal to change the scene.
And now it is Sevilla who is anxiously awaiting that this operation crystallizes in an offer. In the country orangea figure is already slipped: 24 million fixed plus 3 in variables. If so, Monchi’s eyes will shine.
Ajax has just transferred the Brazilian winger Antony to Manchester United in exchange for 100 million euros and is going against the clock to cover such a gap. That is where the figure of Ocampos enters the scene, but also that of Hakim Zyech, the Moroccan with a Dutch passport who, according to various British media, the Amsterdam club wants to recover after he was transferred to Chelsea in 2020 in exchange for 40 million euros. There is talk of a transfer. And if this operation is consummated, it would be necessary to confirm if he would rule out Ocampos’s. It may not be so and it may be the two that end up in the Eredivisie.
Time runs inexorably towards 24 hours on Thursday, September 1, when the market closes. Monchi doesn’t have much room left to hire that reinforcement that José Castro himself acknowledged on Wednesday that they are managing. He is a striker with a goal, which is what Julen Lopetegui most urgently needs. And if Ajax arrives with that proposal by Lucas Ocampos around 25 million, which in Seville would be considered good, there would be up to two operations that can be closed for the definitive configuration of the Sevilla squad for the 2022-23 season .
To the free file that already exists, Ocampos would be added, which would also alleviate the wage bill with his departure to the Eredivisie. He receives about 1.7 million net a year and his contract ends in June 2024.
The brave winger describes a clear descending line in Sevilla since his fabulous breakthrough in his first campaign, 2019-20, which ended with 17 goals, 14 of them in the League, and an enormous specific weight in Sevilla’s game as a winger law. He showed an infectious intensity, delivery and arrival, especially from the far right. With the arrival of Suso, he was moving more towards the left wing of the attack and there his game began to lose importance.
In the last two campaigns, Ocampos has drawn a very irregular linewhich has led him to be left out of the Argentine team after having entered it strongly thanks to his spectacular 2019-20 campaign.
The fiery player from Quilmes does not finish recovering his level. What’s more, his start to the season has been marked by his harassed game, reflected in the intemperate entry to side Olaza in Sevilla-Valladolid, which triggered the brawl in which the worst off of the sevillistas was Acuña, expelled.
A change of scenery in a big city like Amsterdam, in a top club in Europe that plays in the Champions League, is on paper an attractive plan for a player who needs to relaunch his career as soon as possible if he wants Lionel Scaloni, the Argentine coach, to return to pull him to the World Cup in Qatar.
Sources close to Sevilla even affirm that Ocampos has already communicated to his teammates that he has made the decision to go to Ajax.
Now, everything depends on the Dutch club putting those 24-27 million euros on the table as soon as possible so that Monchi accelerates these open negotiations and thus pleases Lopetegui.
The first need lies in the forward line and Monchi plays on several wings there. Elche is still closed in demanding 20 million euros for the transfer of Lucas Boye, whose termination clause is 25 million and is the forward that Lopetegui prefers. The 26-year-old Argentine striker, logically, is very receptive to an exit, but Elche sees the 10 million offer that they have sent him as insufficient.
From Almería, sources consulted by this newspaper affirm that Sevilla has now activated its interest in the Nigerian Umar Sadik, who played such a good game against Lopetegui’s men last Saturday, with a goal included. Almería rates him at 20 million, Sevilla thinks of 15. Also Real Sociedad, with 70 million fresh after selling Isak to Newcastle, has turned to Almería for the tall African.
One possibility that moved away is that of the espanyolista Thomas Raul, which is still outside the discipline of the team coached by Diego Martínez. And that from Barcelona it slips now that Espanyol would be willing to give up the scorer as long as the destination club accepts full payment of his record.
And if finally Ocampos (or Munir, or Gudelj) leaves and there are two free chips, it cannot be ruled out that another signing will end up in Sevilla, in addition to the striker. A defensive midfielder who shares the role with Fernando Reges.