Real Betis makes swoop for Mexico's Castillo

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It's setting up to be one of those battles between Italy and Spain, between Roma and Real Betis, and even between one agent and another. But it appears more and more likely that Real Betis is going to win the battle to acquire Mexican international Nery Castillo.

Early on Monday, an agent in Italy, Gianluca Marino, said that Castillo wanted to join Roma. "He wants the Giallorossi because they are a prestigious side and because he thinks he would fit in well in [coach Luciano] Spalletti's formation," Marino said. "Now he is waiting for Roma."

But in the meantime, several reports from Spain and Mexico say that the 24-year-old Castillo, who is owned by Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk but has been on loan with Manchester City, is moments from agreeing to a move to Betis. The decision to go with Betis could come down to the fact that Castillo would have a better chance to play and succeed at the smaller Spanish club.

"Decisions must be made according to sporting and not financial matters," the player's agent in Mexico, Juan Carlos Padilla, told Mexican soccer Web site "You have to think about where you would feel better, where you could gain more confidence. The Betis offer is very important for Nery because he will be an important player there. It will be useful for him to gain confidence and find his best form ahead of the World Cup."

Castillo was not called in for Mexico's World Cup qualifier with Honduras. El Tri won 2-1, but were forced to come from behind and struggled to find any real rhythm in the attack. Presumably, once Castillo is settled with a club, he will be called in by Mexico manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was the manager at Manchester City when Castillo first arrived in England.