Completing the club-based catch-up
The final instalment of this week's round-up of the summer fun in La Liga features some big hitters. Real Madrid scoop up another piece of prime Spanish talent, Sevilla have a yard sale, Valencia don't do that much and Villarreal go large. Read all about it!
La Liga Loca was writing that the transfer of Asier Illarramendi was taking an age to complete, when an email popped into the blog's inbox announcing that the midfielder's presentation would take place on Saturday. Finger on the pulse, as ever. This should release a whole ton of cash to La Real, however a small chunk of it has already been spent on the signing of Swiss international forward, Haris Seferovic. The former Fiorentina forward will 'accompany (Imanol) Agirretxe up front,' Sporting Director Lorenzo Juarros explained, with the move a possible indication that Carlos Vela's future at the club may be rather short.
The Andalusians have been busy bunnies over the summer, in another attempt to overhaul the squad and crawl back into the European places next May. €30 million has been raised in player sales, with Jesus Navas contributing the bulk of that stack of cash. Seven footballers have come in, the most expensive being Carlos Bacca, a Colombian forward brought in from Club Brugge for €7 million.
This immediately set tongues-a-waggin' that Alvaro Negredo's exit for Manchester City is imminent. Indeed, because of the relative cheapness of David Villa, it is still possible Atletico Madrid may still make a bid for the grumpy forward. Either way, Sevilla are going to have one or two new faces in the squad next season, which is exactly what an exasperated club president promised at the end of another disappointing campaign, last year.
The Mestalla club just cannot avoid trouble, and the new manager Miroslav Djukic has brought baggage with him already. Valladolid are looking at legal action against the Serbian for breaking his contract a year early to make the move to Valencia, a move that requires compensation, claim Valladolid. Meanwhile, Djukic is continuing to try to keep Roberto Soldado at the club, promising that the forward is 'a natural leader of this team.'
The latest news on the incoming player front is the loan signing of Chelsea's Oriol Romeu - a midfielder many had forgotten had existed. As it stands, Valencia are still in credit in terms of a slow summer, after Tino Costa was moved to Spartak Moscow.
LLL suspects everyone will skip past this section, but here we go anyway. Former Levante boss, Juan Ignacio Jimenez (JIM) is now in charge. And...er...the team have signed Zakarya Bergdich from Lens for €750,000. That's yer lot!
A huge, hearty welcome back to Villarreal! The Yellow Submarine was only gone for a season but it felt like 78. Apparently, a year in the second division has not done the team's finances any harm, with the club splashing out €8 million on Giovani dos Santos and €5 million on Mallorca midfielder Tomas Pina. Leading the charge for a team that LLL suspects could end up in the top six is the eternally cheerful Marcelino, who squeals that 'we cannot wait. We are very optimistic that we can have a great season in La Primera.'
So is La Liga Loca!