Transfer news

Verdu rejected 'good offers' for Betis

June 25, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Former Espanyol captain Verdu says he turned down "five or six good offers" before joining Real Betis on a free transfer.

Verdu celeb Espanyol
PA PhotosVerdu is a man in demand this summer

The Catalan playmaker, 30, has signed a four-year contract at the Benito Villamarin, after rejecting proposals from clubs who reportedly included Olympiakos, Villarreal and Real Sociedad.

He told his new club’s radio station that the various elements involved in Betis' offer had been too good to turn down.

"I can keep playing in the best league in the world,” Verdu said. “We will be in the Europa League, a competition which I am very excited about and where I am convinced we can play a very big role. This is a big club, with great fans. I have heard that life is good in Seville. The offer, with everything together, was too good to turn down. There were five or six other very good offers, but I have chosen well."

The former La Masia graduate, who subsequently spent three seasons at Deportivo la Coruna and four at Espanyol, said Betis should now look to build on their seventh placed finish in last year’s Primera Division table.

"We must stand out by being demanding with ourselves," he said. "In La Liga we have last year’s path to follow. In Europe, we must go as far as possible, without discarding anything. It is a unique opportunity and we must fight for it."

Verdu is the Andalucian club’s sixth signing of the summer, following Danish keeper Stephan Andersen, Congolese winger Cedric Mabwati, Chilean midfielder Lorenzo Reyes, former Madrid Castilla right-sider Juanfran and Andalucian attacker Chuli, who have all arrived on free or cut-price deals.

A busy summer has also seen important players from last term depart, with midfielder David Canas joining Swansea and keeper Adrian moving to West Ham, both on free transfers.

Next to leave could be €500,000 rated young playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo, who is reportedly also joining Michael Laudrup’s Welsh side, while Verdu’s arrival appears to signal that Benat Etxebarria’s long mooted €10 million move to Athletic Bilbao is close to concluding.