It’s June and the silly season for the A-League and its agents. With Spain an increasingly fruitful market, we have three Spanish free agents who could be fantastic A-League acquisitions.
Diego Castro (Glory), Isaias (Reds) and David Villa, albeit briefly at City, have lead the way for Spanish signings in Australia.
Now, FTBL has scouted three current free agents from Spain with La Liga, EPL and Championship experience.
This trio could add a dash of class to A-League clubs, starting with a former EPL favourite in South Wales.
José Manuel “Chico” Flores Moreno
Swansea City fans fondly remember their former Spanish U21 hardman defender.
After building his reputation in Spain and Italy (with Genoa in Serie A), the tough Spaniard signed on a three-year deal by Michael Laudrup in 2012.
Those were great times for the Welsh outfit.
"Chico" played almost 60 times for the Welsh club, including in their winning Capital One Cup side.
Chico played an important part in Swansea's march to the final, bagging a goal in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in the last-16 clash at Anfield.
"I still keep in touch with many of my former team-mates. We have a WhatsApp group,” he told Wales Online when asked about his time in Swansea.
Clearly, the club still holds fabulous memories.
Though his time at the Liberty wasn’t without incident, with police called to the training ground after an alleged altercation between Flores and future Swans manager Garry Monk (the Spaniard denies the allegation he picked up a brick).
And there was the famous stoush with opposition coach Sam Allardyce after an apparent dive against West Ham.
Flores has experience in the Europa League too at Swansea and in the AFC after a three-year spell with Doha club Al Duhail, a club he joined after his time in South Wales ended.
His latest club was Rubin Kazan, who he left in February after canceling his contract with the Russians over lack of payments.
Now 32, his experience from Serie A, La Liga and the EPL would be very handy in the A-League. And what a character to build marketing around.
And if Michael Laudrup was ever to coach in the A-League, Flores would likely follow him. After all, he’s been coached by him in three countries.
His move to Derby County, in January 2015, came off the back of some very impressive displays in La Liga with Eibar.
At 26, Albentosa was highly rated by County boss Steve McLaren and a big capture for the Rams as they built a side to push for promotion.
But the Spaniard didn’t settle in England.
Albentosa started against Reading – a game in which Derby only needed a point to take a top-six place but went on to lose 3-0.
That was his ninth, and final, competitive appearance in a Derby shirt.
It was back to Spain for Albentosa for the 2015/16 season as he joined Malaga on a season-long loan.
Now 30, and at around six feet five inches, the Spaniard has a physical presence in the centre of defence which wouldn't go astray in Australia.
His most recent club was second-tier outfit Deportivo La Coruna, who he left in the recent January transfer window.
Albentosa has built his reputation in Spanish football for the last decade at clubs such as Malaga, Gimnastic and Cadiz.
Though that experience in the West Midlands will have helped him if he was to move to Australia.
“Albentosa had never experienced English football, never mind Championship football," the-then Derby boss Paul Clement told the Derby Telegraph when Albentosa went back to Spain on a loan deal.
"It was always a big ask for him to find his feet on the pitch straight away and at the same time adapt to a different culture
“It was difficult here at Derby for Raul and I had some conversations with him about that. Culturally, it was a tough move for him.”
Four years ago, Villarreal splashed 7.5m Euros on the winger from Malaga. He was highly rated five years ago
But Russian club Rubin Kazan bought him a year later for 4m Euros (Javi Gracia, now doing amazing things with Watford, also joined the Russian Premier League club at that time).
That move failed to inspire and he was soon back in Spain.
The Malaga-born winger/second striker left La Liga outfit Levante in January this year after 23 league and Cup appearances since 2017, falling behind in the pecking order after a ligament injury.
Rated highly, but never quite delivering, this is one player who at 28 might just prosper in a new environment on the other side of the world.