Argentinos Juniors defender Lucas Villalba is determined to play for Cruzeiro. Businessman Lucas Labbad Santiago said that the 29-year-old athlete was not interested in the offer from Independiente del Valle, from Ecuador, despite the president of the Argentine club, Cristian Malaspina, leaving the possibility open.
In conversation with the news reporter On Attack On Friday night (2/2), Santiago stated that Villalba’s decision is to go to Cruzeiro and that there is nothing that can prevent the negotiation.
The agent highlighted that Argentinos Juniors must seal the deal, as there is already a verbal agreement with Cruzeiro. This will occur even after Independiente del Valle’s proposal. Although financially good, Villalba wants to work in Brazil.
“Yes, it was [uma proposta] very interesting. Economically, quite strong. But Brazilian football is at a technical level where opportunities don’t always appear, like in a team as big as Cruzeiro.”
Lucas Labbad Santiago, businessman from Villalba
Business format by Villalba
On January 20th, On Attack he had already informed that the Argentine’s desire was to go to Cruzeiro or a league abroad. The celestial proposal, in fact, has always been the athlete’s favorite, also sought after by Racing-ARG, Del Valle-EQU and Colo-Colo-CHI.
Lucas Labbad Santiago also confirmed that Villalba will be loaned to Raposa for a year with an option to buy.
The businessman believes that the transfer will suit Cruzeiro, Argentinos Juniors and the player, who should arrive in Belo Horizonte on Monday (4/2). According to him, the teams are in the process of exchanging documents.
On Instagram, Villalba published photos of his time at Argentinos Juniors, signaling that he is in the farewell phase. The defender also posted a photo of his son dressed in his current club’s shirt alongside another child wearing Cruzeiro’s uniform.
At Argentinos Juniors since 2021, Villalba has played 127 games, five goals and five assists. The athlete also defended Independiente, Atlético Tucumán, Huracán and Aldosivi in his home country.
In addition to playing as a defender, Villalba can eventually play the role of left-back. A curiosity is his height of 1.77m, below Cruzeiro’s main central defenders: Zé Ivaldo, 1.85m; Neris, 1.90m; and João Marcelo, 1.89m.
How much can Cruzeiro pay for the player?
Cruzeiro will pay 400 thousand dollars (R$ 2 million) for Villalba’s one-year loan. If you want to remain permanently with the athlete, you will have to invest another 800 thousand dollars (R$4 million) at the end of 2024.
Colleagues that ‘talk’
Villalba’s eventual arrival at Toca would be facilitated by the presence of more Argentines in the team: midfielder Lucas Romero, striker Juan Dinenno and coach Nicolás Larcamón. Another foreigner is Colombian right-back Helibelton Palacios.