Leon President Jesus Martinez told Mexico’s The Record newspaper that simply is not the case. In fact, Martinez still considers it to be a “real option.”
“The subject of Rafa Marquez is a very important one for Leon, but we don’t have anything concrete yet,” he explained. “Due to different circumstances, I can’t tell you where negotiations stand because I don’t want to harm anything that could happen. It is a very important option for our team. Without question, there is an important approach regarding the services of Rafa Marquez because of what he represents for Mexican Football and what he can bring to Leon.
“Anything can happen,” he continued. “That is why I don’t want to talk about the issue as to not harm it, but we are talking and we hope something materializes and hopefully we reach an agreement.”
Martinez issued a new timeline for that decision as well; ‘good or bad,’ the club should have word this week whether or not Marquez will be joining them for the Clausura tournament.
For his part, Martinez spoke glowingly of the former Mexican Captain. Claiming Marquez has “many years” left in him, the club President points to his resume with the National team and Barcelona, his experience abroad and his ability as a veteran to support the team as the main reasons why Marquez would be an ideal fit.
Of course, that resume leaves out a spotty, injury riddled and suspension filled two year stint with the Red Bulls that saw Marquez miss more games than he actually played.
Keep in mind; just last week, Marquez himself said he thought a transfer would be unlikely unless the Red Bulls had a coach in place. There still isn’t. Oddly enough, the team seems to be making many vital moves without one, adding Jamison Olave, Fabian Espindola, Kosuke Kimura and a pair of academy kids to the team while trading away Sebastian Le Toux and pursuing Brazilian great Juninho Pernambucano.
Also factor into the equation the money backing Club Leon (the team has connections to the World’s richest man, Carlos Slim) and the politics behind the move. Leon is looking to make a major impact in Liga MX by retooling the side and making a run at the championship; a process Martinez said is “on-going.” Much like Red Bulls acquisition of Marquez, Leon is not only looking to acquire Rafa Marquez the player, but Rafa Marquez the brand.
Various reports say Marquez is in Mexico City ready to hammer out a deal with the club. EoS reached out to the Red Bulls and the club issued no comment on the situation.