Overhauling its strike force with a second new forward in as many days, Pachuca confirmed the signing of Nery Castillo from Greek club Aris on Thursday evening.
After a promising start to his career at Olympiacos, Castillo joined Shakhtar Donetsk in 2007 for €20 million, becoming the most expensive player in Ukranian football to date. Several loan spells followed to sides such as Manchester City and Aris, the latter signing him on a permanent basis.
The 28-year-old will now be reunited with new Pachuca coach and former Real Madrid legend Hugo Sanchez. Castillo was eligible to play for any of Mexico, Greece, Italy and Ukraine but it was Sanchez who persuaded him to turn out for El Tri when he was coach of the national team.
Castillo flourished under Sanchez’s tutelage, scoring four times at the 2007 Copa America, where he was Mexico’s standout performer.
Another addition to the Pachuca attack is Spanish striker Raul Tamudo, who sealed a move to the Hidalgo-based club on Wednesday.
A former Spanish international, Tumudo is best known for a 14-year spell at Espanyol, where he twice won the Copa del rey, as well as becoming club captain and all-time top scorer with 129 goals.
Having spent the last two seasons on one-year contracts at Real Sociedad and then Rayo Vallecano, the 34-year-old was a free agent prior to joining Los Tuzos.
Tamudo will become the third Spaniard now playing in Mexico’s top division, after Santos midfielder Marc Crosas and Pumas winger Luis Garcia.
The move leaves Pachuca with six foreign players. Under Mexican league rules, Tamudo’s signing means one of Javier Muñoz Mustafa, Mauro Cejas, Jaime Ayovi, Feliz Borja or Segundo Castillo will have to leave before the new season.
In other news, Colombian center-back Luis Amaranto Perea is set to join Cruz Azul from Europa League champion Atletico Madrid.
Aged 33, Perea has spent eight years in Madrid and remains a key figure in the Colombian national side.
Cruz Azul has confirmed that he will join, pending a medical in the coming weeks, but did not disclose further deals.
Argentine striker Hugo Mariano Pavone has also joined Cruz Azul from Club Atletico Lanus. Pavone, 30, previously played for Estudiantes and River Plate in Argentina, as well as Real Betis in Spain.
By Duncan Tucker (@DuncanTucker)
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