Lotina wants four or five
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Espanyol will look to bring in four or five new players during the summer.Miguel Angel Lotina has announced that Espanyol will have to bring in four or five new players as they prepare to compete in Europe next season, with Sao Paulo striker Grafite being the first to join.
The Parakeets' boss will start working on summer transfers when the club return from their mini tour to Mauritius, where they will play two local sides that will include Nicolas Anelka and Laurent Robert in their ranks.
Among those heading for the exit door will be goalkeeper Erwin Lemmens, defenders Toni Soldevilla and Alex Fernandez and forward Martin Posse, while decisions will have to be made on the futures of Fredson, Jose Amavisca and Ito who spent last season on loan from Real Betis.
Although Lotina did not mention any names, it is believed that Grafite (pictured) will be brought into add some strength up front, while San Lorenzo's Pablo Zabaleta and Bordeaux's Albert Riera are also thought to be on his wish-list.
"I think we will need at least four or five signings," Lotina explained.
"The budget we have is bigger than last summer.
"We certainly have a bit more money, but the idea will be to trade some players in order that we do not end up with a deficit."
The former Celta Vigo coach has led Espanyol to unexpected heights as the Barcelona-based club maintained a challenge for a UEFA Champions League spot all season before eventually finishing fifth.
After saving themselves from relegation on the final day of the previous campaign, the turnaround at Montjuic is incredible.
As well as looking to purchase new players, Lotina is preparing to give the players that spent the season on loan a chance to prove themselves in pre-season training.
"We know what we have to do to rebuild and we also have a few players who are set to return to the club, but I shall be speaking to them soon," he continued.
Goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz and midfielder Moises Hurtado enjoyed very successul loan spells at Eibar, while Carlos Garcia enjoyed his stay at Poli Ejido.