Pablo Solari’s days at Colo Colo seemed numbered. The mighty America of Mexico put US$3.2 million for 80% of the pass on the black-and-white table to sign him, for the second time so far this season. And, by the way, he had a salary for the trans-Andean much higher than what he receives in Macul. El Pibe’s enthusiasm for making the jump to Aztec football was immediate. However, beyond the wish of the player himself, who felt that the deal was already done, to the point that he even said goodbye to his teammates, the transaction was not completed. The reason? The Cacique did not want to lose power in the face of the South American Cup and the National Tournament.
The decision hit the striker. El Pibe is going through its most complex days since arriving at the Cacique as a bet from the inferiors of Talleres de Córdoba, to later become history by saving his team from relegation at the end of the 2020 season, scoring the only goal of the match against Universidad de Concepción, in the duel for promotion.
Since then, the trans-Andean relationship with the club was one of pure love. He had already been the undisputed starter on the right wing of the Albos attack and remained so in 2021. After each game for his team, both at home and away, the fans waited for him outside of the stadium to realize his dream of getting a picture with the end. His performance and pressure from fans and DT Gustavo Quinteros led Blanco y Negro to choose to exercise the call option to retain his services.
Solari was una de las figuras más destacadas del conjunto de Macul que fue puntero pendante gran parte del año pasado, pero que debió conformarse con el subcampeonato, luego de no poder maintenerse en esa ubicación al cierre del campeonato que, al finale, terminó ganando la Catholic University. Anyway, at Macul they knew the footballer would attract interest from more than one club in the market, so the management decided to declare him non-transferable. At least, while the team was playing the Copa Libertadores.
The objective of staying alive at the end of the group stage of the continental tournament was not fulfilled for Cacique, who qualified for the Copa Sudamericana as a consolation prize. This opened a window for Pibe to emigrate and, although he always said he felt very comfortable in Chile, in his head the option of leaving seduced him little by little, over- beyond the fact that his moment with Colo Colo was sweet, since the club concluded the first round as one of the leaders, along with Unión Española and Ñublense.
That’s when the first offer arrived. A minor step. América, a great Mexican soccer player, was fully interested in Pibe and it didn’t take him long to get in touch with Blanco y Negro. He had already asked about him in January, when the first door slammed from Santiago. And this time, in its second attempt, the white board, in a unanimous decision, again rejected the $4.5 million proposal, as deemed insufficient.
Solari didn’t like the company’s position at all. In fact, his morale collapsed when he learned of the cacique’s decision not to sell him. It was even low for Quinteros in training in Argentina last Friday, a day after his desire to leave suffered a slap in the face as he accused of not being in peak physical condition. The situation left him very affected psychologically and he couldn’t take part in Monday’s friendly match against Platense either.
On Monday, Quinteros addressed the issue, putting a cold shoulder on the situation. “It’s normal that when a team makes an offer for a player, which is insufficient for the people at the club, the player gets a little sick or depressed in the first few days. We spoke with him, we try to make him understand that when there are contracts signed, they must be fulfilled, the sale does not depend on just one”said the strategist in dialogue with Círculo Central.
On America’s offer, the DT assured: “Dollars don’t make more or less of a difference, but for Colo Colo it’s important to keep the team going. Our main objective is to win the championship, to participate in the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Chile. I prefer the National Championship more.
A few days later, precisely this Thursday, the strategist looked into the case of the native of Villa Mercedes, detailing the reasons for his absence and insisting on his idea of not letting him emigrate to Mexican football, since he is one of the most important footballers in his scheme.
“He was dragging an injury which is not serious, he has an inflammation which prevented him from playing football these days. Leaving a team is always a very good option with a better contract, but in the middle of the season it is very difficult. It is difficult to replace it. If Solari leaves, we have to bring in someone to replace him and we will never be able to strengthen the team. Let’s hope the player will go quietly at the end of the season. Replacing him is not easy, he is an important young boy for the team. I hope he recovers as soon as possible and becomes the player he always was,” the coach said.
Los Albos want to keep the team at all costs as they see it as key to their goal of winning the Premier League title by the end of the year, beyond Solari’s intention to leave. But not everyone thinks the same. For Gabriel Mendoza, 1991 Libertadores champion with Colo Colo, Blanco y Negro would be wasting a great option if he doesn’t let Pibe go, as there is no guarantee that in the future he will have a better chance which benefits both the club and the footballer. .
“Solari must be unhappy. It was his big chance. The big step he could take abroad. It’s a great offer with which the club and the player agree. It’s a shame. The player is clear that they haven’t seen it from his side. Quinteros must also see that this is the big possibility for Solari. This may be the last chance I can walk away with a price like this”Coke tells El Deportivo.
The former national team insists that the Cacique is making a mistake: “Colo Colo is not looking at a sporting issue. Because we have the Copa Sudamericana and Inter come from Porto Alegre. He is practically eliminated by what was seen in the Copa Libertadores. To say that we are going to lose power is not that either. We look at the national championship which promises to be easy and without a doubt Colo Colo will have to be champions. For the player, it’s a shame not to be able to leave. I’m sure there may not be a better offer. It was a great possibility for both parties.
On the white campus, the view is similar. On Tuesday, Leonardo Gil, in conversation with TNT Sports, mentioned the case of his partner, specifying that the position of the player must be heard. “Pablo is a friend, that’s how I consider him, we get along very well and I always wish him the best. If you feel like leaving, you are welcome.”said. In an interview with ESPN, Colorado revealed Solari’s wish: “He wants out. He is young and wants to seek another horizon. It’s normal”.
The Mexican press reported that America would make a new offer for Argentina. This Wednesday, Daniel Morón, sports director of Blanco y Negro, told Radio Cooperativa that this new proposal has not yet landed on national soil. “Not yet, we hope good things can happen to everyone“, he expressed, before emphasizing that they are following the player closely. “We have been with Solari all these days, of course we have crossed paths from time to time, he works like all players, we have been in contact with him and his technicians, he walks with a bit of physical difficulty“, he concluded.
Solari is going through her most complex time at Colo Colo and her intentions to leave are clear. For the moment, the club is waiting for a new proposal, before deciding if these last weeks of the trans-Andean team were the last. For now, beyond the desire of the footballer, Solari does not move from Macul.
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