With three wins and one defeat, Julen Lopetegui has been generally satisfied by the performance level of his team during the preseason. But there are two positions that he still wants to improve: central defence and centre forward.
Lopetegui has told the club that he would prefer to loan out Jesús Vallejo to allow him to have regular game time. The central defender has picked up a muscle injury that will keep him out for four to six weeks, and if, in the meantime, another centre back is brought in, the coach believes he would be better off on loan. Up front, Lopetegui likes Mayoral, but he wants another goal scorer and has not been convinced by Raul de Tomás, who is now set to leave the club.
The club, for its part, will try to satisfy the coach’s demands but only if they can find reinforcements at a reasonable price, as in the case of Thibaut Courtois, who signed from Chelsea last week for 35 million euros.
Lopetegui would also welcome the arrival of a centre midfielder as a replacement for Mateo Kovacic, who has left for Chelsea on loan, and would not be opposed to the exit of Marcos Llorente, who failed to impress during the US tour. In this position, however, the coach has two decent options in Dani Cabellos and Fede Valverde. Amongst the youngsters that came through last season, Cabellos is the only one that has really impressed Lopetegui; while Valverde will stay if there are no other interesting options on the transfer market.