The news that Mexican whizz-kid Diego Reyes is likely to vacate the comfort and security of The Aztec Stadium in pursuit of European riches has put many of the continent’s top managers on high alert.
His current footballing registration is held by Mexico City side Club America, but their manager Miguel Herrera has confirmed that the defender/midfielder is desperate to climb the next rung on the relatively short career enhancement ladder. Ideally, Club America would like to retain the player’s services until June 2013, but with the European transfer window rapidly approaching, and with each impressive performance only adding further value to a player already held in the highest esteem, this looks increasingly unlikely.
For those of us not au fait with the complexities and histories of Mexican football, Club America are one of the most established and decorated sides within the CONCACAF region. Former greats to have swollen their ranks include Hugo Sanchez, Ilie Dumitrescu, Vava, and Oscar Ruggeri.
Reyes’ rise to the pinnacle of Mexican football has been characterised by steady progression, and his controlled ascent through the different international age groups has without doubt contributed to his overall ongoing development. Having excelled at the U20 World Cup in Columbia,Reyes was also part of the fantastic Mexico side that went on to win the Gold Medal at this years London Olympics. His strong physical presence and the ability to play at the heart of a defence or alternatively as a defensive midfielder, make him a much sought after prospect.
The question of which team might find themselves to be the eventual beneficiaries in this hotly contested chase is a matter of widespread debate and conjecture. In England the two front-runners appear to be Manchester United and Chelsea. A move to Old Trafford, with United’s already well established connections in Mexico, would seem much more likely than a switch to Stamford Bridge. One suspects that Roman Abramovich will be monitoring Rafa’s forthcoming results before showing enough confidence in The Spaniard to part with some of his ever plentiful supply of oil laden lucre.
In Spain, long time admirers Athletico Madrid and Valencia are also thought to be putting respective bids together. The lure of La Liga has always offered something of a magnetic charm to many of Reyes’ countrymen, and in the eyes of several pundits this would indeed represent a natural progression for the player himself.
However, I believe that the most likely destination for Reyes will be Benfica in Portugal. Strong rumours persist regarding a pre-contractual agreement between The Portuguese Giants and Club America. It is suggested that Benfica would even be willing to wait until June to make the transfer permanent, which of course would provide a welcome fillip to anybody connected with the Mexico City outfit. Watch this space!