How desperate is Juan Riquelme to leave Villarreal? So desperate that the Argentine international has promised to play free of charge for one year if his beloved club Boca Juniors buys out his current contract with the Valencia club. The 29-year-old spent most of last season on loan with the Argentine giant, which he guided to victory in the Copa Libertadores. Riquelme's current contract with Villarreal is for $2 million per year; the club values him at $20 million.
"I have already offered this to the officials of Boca," the 29-year-old said. "Last Sunday I spoke with the officials of Boca to let them know about my idea and my intention of returning to the club. I said to them that if they respect the two-year contract that I still have with Villarreal I will play a third year for free."
So far, Riquelme hasn't heard any response from Boca. Meanwhile, he's been linked with a few clubs in the English Premiership, including Tottenham Hotspur. The required fee of $20 million has been a major stumbling block in negotiations between Villarreal and other clubs. Boca may be one of South America's biggest clubs, but transfers of that size are usually reserved for the biggest clubs in Europe. Boca in the past has said it cannot afford to buy Riquelme. Removing $2 million from his hefty price tag hardly makes the playmaker more affordable.