It's being reported in all the Seville newspapers (here, here and here, for example), so I think I'm now safe to post up the good news here: Pepe Mel has agreed a new contract with Betis, which he will sign today. Regular readers will know that I've always thought we'd get there - mostly because all the protagonists seem decent and sensible - but it's very nice to have the whole thing finally sorted.
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UPDATE (PM): Everything is signed and sealed and the world is a better place for it. Mel has signed a three-year contract, obviously contingent on his keeping Betis in Primera. Somewhere it said that he´ll earn €600,000 a year, which is half what Luis Oliver promised him but with a longer commitment to make up for it. He told journalists: "Today is a particularly happy day for me because I get to stay with the team where I want to be. I must thank [president Rafael] Gordillo and the board for showing confidence in me not just with words, but also with deeds, by allowing me to head up a project for a minimum of three years. That is what means most to me, that they haven't just shown me kindness, but a real professional interest in me."
As far as a transfer budget is concerned, he acknowledged that there isn't one - although the club have promised him any proceeds from a possible sale of Achille Emaná to work with. "I want to make it clear that we don't want to sell him," added Mel, "but should an offer come in that was good for Betis and good for the player, the board have told me, without my asking, that the income would be reinvested in the team."
For his part, Rafael Gordillo pointed out how obvious it had been that Pepe Mel wanted to stay. "He 'feels' Betis, he knows he's put together a great campaign, we'e played fantastic football, everyone's happy and today is a day for the entire Beticismo to be happy, because I'm sure there were fans who had their doubts from what they read in the press. This is a happy day for all of us."