Arrasate: We can’t rule out Griezmann staying
Real Sociedad manager Jagoba Arrasate is content with how things have progressed so far in pre-season, ahead of the team heading to Holland this weekend. He’s still uncertain about the future of Griezmann at the club, but was clear about other transfer dealings.
At a press call before the final training session at their La Zubieta training home, ahead of travelling to Holland for the next phase of their pre-season preparations, Real Sociedad manager Jagoba Arrasate detailed the work his team have been doing, pleased with progress so far.
“We’ve done things a little differently, because we’ve started pre-season a little earlier, it’s much longer this season and also, so we can live together twenty-four hours a day, doing different things and specifically, physical work, which the players have taken well to.”
“Everything has been going as we expected. The effect of our anaerobic exercise has been good, now we’re placing more importance on work with the ball. We’ll head to Holland to finalise our preparations, ahead of the Europa League qualifiers.”
The reasoning for the earlier and longer pre-season schedule this summer, is with one objective in mind, explained Arrasate.
“The opening games of the Europa League is our only objective at the moment. Obviously we’re excited to see what opponent we will face and our thoughts are only on that. We may face and inferior team, but we know they’ll be ready and strong, having played in previous rounds. We know we’re depending on ourselves though and we’ll always respect our opponents.”
Speaking about the arrival of Icelandic striker, Alfred Finnbogason, the Real Sociedad manager is very happy with what he’s seen so far of the player, who he believes is settling in well and will be a big success for the club.
“He’s a player we had been following for some time. He was a much sought after player, given he was in the final year of his contract, but we managed to get him. He’s a very intelligent player, he’s adapted very quickly and we’re sure he’ll bring us a lot of satisfaction.”
Attention then turned to business that has yet to be completed in the transfer market, but Arrasate is confident they’ll have the squad filled and ready, before the opening La Liga encounter of the season.
“We’re certain that we’re ready to compete, but the squad isn’t completed yet. There may be arrivals and departures, though there’s still plenty of time before La Liga begins.”
Given all the speculation surrounding the future of Antoine Griezmann, there was a level of uncertainty from Arrasate as to whether the Frenchman will be staying at Real Sociedad, or not. He remains hopeful however, that the player will opt to stay.
“Griezmann has been completely focused on the World Cup and when he gets back, we’ll talk with him. We know what his views are. So far the players who wanted to stay have stayed and from there, we’ll just have to wait and see. I won’t rule out him staying, but in the end if he leaves, we’ll have to look at what we do from there.”
Esteban Granero is a player Arrasate would very much like to have back at the club, but he admitted that negotiations with QPR have been both lengthy and difficult.
“He’s a player we already know and we want to stay here, but there are three parties involved and there’s an effort involved. We’ve already been negotiating for a month and that suggests it’s not easy. Hopefully he can come back to us.”
Arrasate also confirmed that the club are in advanced negotiations to sign goalkeeper, Gerónimo Rulli, but advised that the deal has yet to be completed.
“He’s a goalkeeper we like, who we would like to join us, but in football things are never straightforward. There’s the negotiations, medicals and none of it is easy, but we would like him here at La Real.”
The arrival of Alfred Finnbogason is a big boost to the attacking options of Real Sociedad, but Arrasate explained that it may present difficulties for Haris Seferovic, when it comes to getting regular games. Given that may be the case, he suggested that the Swiss international may leave the club, either on loan or on a permanent move.
“Given the importance of Imanol (Agirretxe) and Alfred (Finnbogason), it’s going to be complicated for him. Haris is a young player and much sought after, so we’ll look at the situation, then decide what’s best for him and for the club.”