All quiet on the transfer front: Primera Liga as cash-strapped as Spain
It may not be the best thing to say in terms of enticing people to eagerly read the next few hundred words, but examining an actual jammed-into-the-side-of-a-house window - from the wooden frame, to the cleanliness of the glass - is more thrilling that peering at this summer's transfer window in Spain.
Even the Russian Premier League has invested more cash than La Primera, which is currently 'in the black' in terms of the aggregate transfer values in and out of the division and has thusly been outspent by the English second tier, the Npower Championship.
Since the move of Jordi Alba to Barcelona, the only story making regular headlines in the big sports papers is the Luka Modric to Real Madrid saga; the tale of a player JosÃÂ© Mourinho perceives as a nice-to-have trinket who would probably play the odd 20 minutes here and then against Osasuna, rather than a man who'll play every single minute of every single match. In fact, thatÃ¢ÂÂs the role which has been performed superbly by KakÃÂ¡ of late, but perhaps not for much longer.
TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs Marca shows the Brazilian and his father arriving at the Santiago Bernabeu to be told that his chances of first-team football will be severely limited during the upcoming campaign and that it may be best if he take his Ã¢ÂÂ¬11 million net a year salary elsewhere. To Corinthians perhaps. Or Milan. Or even Paris Saint Germain, the big money-bags club this summer.
In fact, Real Madrid are showing a sizable profit in their dealings so far, having sold Dani Carvajal, Hamit Altintop, Sergio Canales and Lady Gago for a total of about Ã¢ÂÂ¬20 million, roughly half of what Spurs are reportedly asking for their midfield moaner.
Barcelona still have some cash in the kitty to buy a centre-back, while MÃÂ¡laga are really letting the side down, having invested nada so far, having suffered massive cash flow problems which have prevented them from paying some of their big name players, along with the clubs they came from.
Osasuna have just dropped a present into the southern sideÃ¢ÂÂs lap - trousers becoming threadbare? - with a legal claim for money owed from last summerÃ¢ÂÂs transfer of Nacho Monreal. The Pamplona sideÃ¢ÂÂs urgent need for funds is not that surprising considering it has been announced that the local council will no longer be chipping in Ã¢ÂÂ¬1.4 million a year on the reasonable grounds that it, along with the rest of Spain, is completely skint.
Overall, 11 Primera clubs are reflecting a positive balance or a zero spend from their transfer dealings in the close season, and when one of them happens to be Real Madrid, you know that thereÃ¢ÂÂs something stingy in the air with la Liga reflecting the cash-strapped nature of the entire country and battening down the financial hatches.