Santos Laguna: No European offers for Gerardo Arteaga
Santos Laguna's 19-year-old left'back Gerardo Arteaga is unlikely to move this January transfer window, despite reports in the Mexican media of interest from European clubs.
Arteaga burst onto the Liga MX scene in late 2016 and has become a regular starter at Santos. In recent weeks he has been linked with Turkish club Galatasaray, as well as Barcelona, Valencia and Porto.
"They are just rumours. I think there is an agent trying to do the operation, but we didn't receive any offer or any calls from Galatasaray," Santos Laguna vice president Jose Riestra told ESPN FC on Friday.
Riestra said the only real contact was with Barcelona general manager Pep Segura last summer. He said an informal enquiry about Arteaga was made about potentially bringing Arteaga into the Barcelona 'B' set-up, but nothing formal materialised.
Arteaga has been called into Mexico's Under-21 squad and Riestra believes the defender has the quality to build on his early form at Santos and compete for a spot with the Mexico national team in the future.
"He's a very good player, he's a clever player who could play as a left-back or as a left winger. I think he has a lot to grow. He has to work on some specific parts of tactics, more on the defensive side than attacking. He has the quality to reach the national team. I think he'll be a very good player in the future," Riestra said.
Santos Laguna are the reigning Liga MX Under-17 and Under-20 champion. They exported Mexican youngsters Joao Maleck (Porto) and Uriel Antuna (Groningen) to Europe in 2017, with Riestra admitting that if certain conditions are met other youth products like Arteaga could eventually join them.
[We have very good relationships with a lot of clubs in Europe. We've been going every year for the last 10 years to try to keep that relationship we have, learning best practices. If it is a good opportunity for the player and a good opportunity for the club, we are always open to trying to do a loan or a sale," Riestra said.
He added that the club isn't in the market for more players this transfer window and said that a rumour linking the club to Houston Dynamo's Erick "Cubo" Torres was false.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.