Can anyone who follows English football more closely than I do tell us anything about Mohamed Diamé? The French-Senegalese defensive midfielder is out of contract with Wigan, where he's spent the last three seasons, and is rumoured to have been in Seville this weekend discussing a possible move to Betis with Pepe Mel, for whom he played at Rayo Vallecano. The word is that the player fancies playing in southern Spain, but a quick Google search reveals that he's also being courted by clubs such as Liverpool, Everton and Newcastle, all of whom would pay him twice as much as Betis would, so he's going to have to really want some sunshine in his life for this deal to happen.
I think, though, that this is the right time to show you this graphic, which is an educated guess at Betis's transfer needs this summer. Pepe Mel has repeatedly said he wants only 22 or 23 first-team squad members, with Betis B players also available to step up when required, so let's call this two players per position. You'll see that the ???s - obviously - are the positions to be filled, so Diamé, for instance, would be competing with Cañas for first-team starts.
There has, of course, been some guesswork on my part. All of the following could prove to be wrong, but to get to this point I've assumed...
1) ...that Iriney and Montero won't be re-signed, but Roque Santa Cruz and Paulao will. The latter seems a fairly safe bet, while a Roque deal might be more complicated but should still happen. There's a glimmer of hope for both the first two named, but they're still more likely to be elsewhere come August.
2)...that Salva Sevilla and Javier Matilla will also have moved on. There's been conflicting news about both of these midfielders - in theory, competition for Beñat - but Salva in particular is being sought by other Primera and Segunda clubs and will probably be allowed to leave. A season-long loan might be best for Matilla.
3)...that all the promising Betis B players will be regarded separately for the time being. If you count Pozuelo as a first-teamer now, the only Betis B player I've included is left-back Alex Martínez as an occasional substitute for the apparently indestructible Nacho. He'll be ready. Other names Pepe Mel might consider including more regularly would be right-back Manu Palancar, holding midfielder Carlos García, attacking midfielders Nono and Sergio, and winger (on either flank) Álvaro Vadillo.
4)...that Nelson, Juanma, Jonathan Pereira, Jorge Molina and, yes, Beñat, will all still be at the club when next season starts. Actually this is very unlikely, but it's impossible to know right now who will attract the most tempting offers. All are reportedly available at the right price, but there's no particular desperation to sell any of them, so we'll just have to wait and see.
One further point to add is a warning not to expect much to happen before the second half of July. Pepe Mel has said he expects to leave for the pre-season tour of China on July 8th without too many new faces, so the real wheeling and dealing will probably start when the squad returns two weeks later. It's going to be a long old summer.