GUADALAJARA -- Chivas coach Matias Almeyda has denied there is anything concrete to stories linking midfielder Orbelin Pineda to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City and other teams in Europe. But he isn't surprised the 20-year-old, already a full Mexico international, is receiving such attention.
"I heard something, but nothing firm has come in to me," Almeyda said after Chivas' 1-0 Copa MX win over Alebrijes de Oaxaca on Wednesday, responding to a question from ESPN FC. "It's normal that Orbelin is being talked about. He's one of those players that has to end up in a great European club. He has the talent and the attributes."
Pineda didn't play for a Chivas side made up largely of fringe players on Wednesday, but the box-to-box midfielder, who signed from Queretaro in December 2015, has been a fixture in the Liga MX and has swiftly become a key player for one of Mexico's biggest clubs.
But while Almeyda sees Pineda's future over the pond, the former Argentine international is in no rush to let him go and believes the youngster should bide his time.
"I've always been very clear with them; they are playing in a football [league] that is better than a lot [of others]," Almeyda said. "Those [Chivas players] that have ambitions have to aspire to go to the biggest clubs [in Europe] because they are at one of the best clubs in the world. So if they want to change clubs, it has to be for a better one."
"[Pineda] is young, he's learning," added Almeyda. "We'll see what happens, but it is normal that clubs in Europe look at the best players. More will come in [for Pineda]. I'm totally sure."
Chivas' victory Wednesday set up a semifinal Copa MX clash against bitter Mexico City rival Club America next Wednesday in Estadio Azteca.