Jonas hints at possible Valencia exit
Valencia forward Jonas has revealed he could leave in the summer if the heavily indebted club do not qualify for the Champions League.
The Brazilian has been in superb form lately, netting eight times in his last eight games. He hit the screamer which gave his side hope in their Champions League last 16 second leg at Paris Saint-Germain, and more recently a crucial late strike in Saturday’s 3-3 La Liga draw at Espanyol.
That result saw sixth-placed Valencia slip four points behind Real Sociedad in the race for Spain’s final qualification spot for next season’s Champions League, and all at the Mestalla are well aware of the importance of securing the cash which comes with playing in Europe’s top club competition.
Jonas, who has made a point of not celebrating some of his recent goals due to problems with some of Valencia’s more demanding fans, told reporters after training on Sunday that the situation was pretty clear and stark.
“If we do not make it into the Champions League, the club will have to sell more players,” he said. “I want to fulfill my contract but if an offer comes which is interesting for everyone then we will have to study it.”
Valencia’s fate still remains in their own hands, with fifth-placed Malaga at the Mestalla on Saturday, and a trip to San Sebastian to face La Real the following weekend.
Jonas said he was confident the team could use these games to improve their position in the table.
“I do not see it as too difficult,” he said. “There are a lot of games left, including some against our direct rivals.”
While European qualification will determine Valencia's budget for summer transfers, the coming window is likely to see many comings and goings at the club.
Reports suggest that Rayo Vallecano midfielder Javi Fuego has already agreed to join next season, but a move for €10 million-rated Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas has stalled after former president Manuel Llorente resigned in early April.
A new interim board, headed unofficially by Federico Varona, the president of the foundation which owns a majority of Valencia shares, has been tasked with lowering the club's estimated €450 million debts. This means key players including Roberto Soldado, Adil Rami, Vicente Guaita, Sofiane Feghouli and Jeremy Mathieu could follow previous Mestalla favourites David Villa, David Silva, Juan Mata and Jordi Alba in leaving the club.
Coach Ernesto Valverde is out of contract this summer and has yet to agree a new deal. The future of sporting director Braulio Vazquez is also reportedly up in the air as the club's owners - who include the local Valencian government and its bankers Bankia - consider their options.