De Guzman looking for new home
Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Julian De Guzman has become a victim of his own success. Last season's player of the year may have priced himself out of the cash-strapped Primera Liga club's budget-range and with no new contract on the table might well be heading to a new club.
In less than six months, the Canadian international, who has been capped 33 times by his country, will sell his services to the highest bidder and the Toronto-born midfielder will be available on a free transfer in July.
It will be Depor's loss. After asserting himself in manager Miguel Angel Lotina's squad last season following his transfer from German club Hannover 96 in 2005, De Guzman helped propel the Galician side to a ninth-place finish in La Liga and a berth in the UEFA Cup. The 27-year-old was subsequently named Deportivo's Player of the Season.
Ironically, his impressive performances may have hastened his exit. Deportivo are currently running a €159 million deficit and must make a €11 million payment against its debts by the end of the season. They cannot afford to take on additional contracts.
De Guzman, a sturdy defensive midfielder, is mulling his options. ESPNsoccernet caught up with him over the Christmas break.
Soccernet: Given the ongoing financial difficulties at Deportivo la Coruna, do you expect to sign a new contract at the Riazor before the summer?
JDG: It's hard to see myself continuing at Depor. The team and fans have made my stay extremely pleasant and helped me fall in love with Spanish football and the lifestyle - which I would say is the best for any footballer. But no offer in extending my stay has been offered to me.
Would you prefer to stay in Spain?
If I can't play at Depor, I would love to continue in La Liga. I'm very happy here and it has been the best experience of my career. But at the end of the day, I'll lean more towards the better offer.
What kind of offers have come in so far?
So far there have been offers from Germany, Spain, England and even Russia. I'm really not in any rush to sign. I just want to get more games and finish this season on a positive note. The rest will fall in its right place.
There have been rumors in the Canadian media that you were approached by Toronto FC about making a move to Major League Soccer. Was there any truth to those reports?
I have been approached earlier but I don't think it would be a wise move since I'm still young and playing at a level where you won't find many Canadians succeeding at.
As long as I can continue to play at such a high level in one of the top leagues in the world and make good money, I'm going to continue to do my best and that and help put Canada on the map overseas.
Can you see yourself moving to Toronto at some point?
I would love to join TFC at a later stage in my career.