2018’s transfer window may have opened up early. VolleyMob had previously reported on rumors that Italian club Sir Safety Perugia made a hefty financial offer for Zenit Kazan’s Cuban superstar Wilfredo Leon. According to famous Italian volleyball blogger Gian Luca Pasini, the rumors have gained ground, and gossip has it that Leon has already communicated his Russian club that he won’t be returning to the team next spring. In addition, it is also being said that Leon even turned down an offer from an unspecified Brazilian club recently, and that he is basically a done deal with Perugia.
The move of Leon is, again, a rumor to which we could hear an update any time soon. The Cuban player is the highest-paid volleyball player in the present, and is widely considered the best player in the world, certainly one of volleyball’s hottest commodities. Any team in the world would jump at the chance of signing him.
Italy seems indeed like the ideal situation for Leon, since Serie A1 is one of the strongest and most traditional volleyball leagues in the world, and its clubs certainly have the cash to pay him. Is Perugia the front-runner? Probably, and the addition of Leon would make a killer tandem with Ivan Zaytsev. Modena will certainly also make him an offer if Earvin Ngapeth and Bruninho leave the team for Russia’s Lokomotiv Novosibirsk after feuding with coach Radostin Stoytchev. Then there is also Brazil’s rich clubs like Cruzeiro, Sesi, and Taubaté, which are known to hand its players contracts of over $1 million USD. Or he could ultimately sign in Poland to be closer to his family and his national team.
His signing will be a real sweepstakes, and the lucky team that closes the deal with him will automatically be front-runners for domestic and international success.
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A Cuban defector, Leon is a naturalized Polish citizen who will soon be allowed to debut for the Polish national team. Have you ever wondered what an All-Defected Cuban national team would look like?