Will Catania survive without Captain Silvestre?

Recent reports suggest that cash strapped Catania are ready to cash in on their star player Matias Silvestre as they look to bring some money into the club. It is understood that director Pietro Lo Monaco thinks the club will be able to demand a higher transfer fee for their skipper than they would for striker Maxi Lopez, and it appears Silvestre will be sacrificed so that Catania can hold on to their highest scorer.
Speculation has been surrounding Silvestre in recent weeks as Liverpool have announced their interest in the centre-back with Villarreal, Inter, Juventus and Genoa also emerging as potential suitors for the Catania captain.
It is understood that although director Pietro Lo Monaco has resigned himself to losing the 26-year-old, he insists that the Rossazzurri will demand a reasonable fee for Silvestre and reports suggest he is valued between €8-10m by the club.
The Argentine was Catania’s best player last season and deservedly had the captain’s armband bestowed upon him following the departure of Giuseppe Mascara. He has been instrumental to the club for the past two seasons in which the Elefanti finished 13th in the top flight of Italian football. The six-foot tall defender stood out in the Catania back-line and contributed to the attack with six league goals, ending the campaign as the Etnei’s second highest scorer.
Captain Silvestre will suffer the same fate as his predecessor Mascara as the Sicilian side look to bring an end to their financial troubles. Catania will struggle to replace their talismanic captain, who is arguably the best defender in the league behind Milan’s Thiago Silva.
Independiente defender Leonel Galeano has been named as the most likely target to step into Silvestre’s boots in the heart of the Catania defence. Galeano has been an established first-team player for Los Diablos Rojos since his debut in 2009 as an 18-year-old and Lo Monaco believes the youngster is the ideal candidate to replace his compatriot. However, Catania face competition from fellow Serie A clubs Roma and Parma as well as some Bundesliga and La Liga sides and, as money is tight at the Stadio Angelo Massimino, the Sicilians could be easily out-priced in their pursuit of the 19-year-old.
If a replacement cannot be found then the club may have to look at what they already have instead and ask the likes of Giuseppe Bellusci or Blazej Augustyn to make the step-up to the first team. Although both defenders are as tall as Silvestre, neither of them are as solid nor anywhere near as experienced. The two central defenders made just 15 Serie A appearances between them last season and new Coach Vincenzo Montella will be expecting a lot if he believes they are ready to make the jump up to the first-team Nicolas Spolli.
Catania will struggle immensely to replace Matias Silvestre, the centre-back has been outstanding for the club since his arrival in 2008 and has been integral to their success in the league. Rossazzurri fans will be disappointed to see him go, his presence in both the Catania defence and attack will be sorely missed and his departure will be difficult for the Elefanti to bear.

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