Madrid's ‘new Hierro’, Málaga's latest splurge and Cesc's 'imminent' arrival

With Spain in the midst of a heatwave - it was 30 degrees in Madrid at nine in the morning for frack's sake - the lethargic, sweating sports press have given up the ghost a little as far as second guessing what’s going on in the transfer market is concerned, especially when it comes to 'the Big Two'.

So far it has been Málaga who have lead the way with the kind of swagger befitting of a post-bleach-job Guti. The €4 million signing of Joaquín from Valencia has taken their summer splurge on grizzly old timers just one last case away from handing in their badge and leaving the force to €28 million. The locals have understandably been getting most excited about the revolution taking place on the south coast, with 16,000 turning up to give the left-winger a big, warm and non-literal hand on his arrival.

The news of Getafe snapping up Juan Rodriguez from Deportivo and Sporting’s Diego Castro, on the other hand, will be unlikely to drag any more than six people to the Coliseum. And they would probably only be there to use the toilets.

Getafe’s backward hillbilly cousins, Atlético, have yet to admit to losing David De Gea to Manchester United, despite photographic evidence to the contrary, with their normally blabber-mouthed president coyly stating on Monday that he was “not going to take about the football side of the club anymore.” However, the Rojiblancos have announced the purchase of Braga fullback, Silvio, for €8 million.

Real Madrid hooked up some heart monitoring equipment to French central defender Raphael Varane and took a photo or two, after the 18-year-old joined from Lens, where he made just 20 league appearances. And that’s why most people have no idea whether the stopper is any good or not - even the French football expert quizzed by LLL had no clue - but that hasn’t stopped Marca ruining the poor fella’s career at Madrid before it has barely started by running a front page declaring Varane to be “the new Hierro”.

Nothing whatsoever seems to be happening in regards to departures from the Santiago Bernabeu, or the possible blockbuster purchases of Neymar, Kun Agüero or Fabio Coentrao. It’s a similar stationary story in the Catalan capital, with Mundo Deportivo going for broke by splashing the names “Alexis, Cesc, Nani” across Tuesday’s front cover, but urging caution in the transfer market on all three. “Those players who’ve been bought above market value haven’t worked. On the other hand, Busquets and Pedro have triumphed,” noted Santi Nolla.

But Sport have been bold enough to put all their chips on a certain Arsenal midfielder arriving sooner rather than later, with a welcome 2,000th repetition of their much-loved headline, “Cesc: Signing Imminent.” The paper reports that Arsenal will settle for an initial fee of €35 million for their captain and talisman. Quite what else they'd find to prattle on about for the next two months should this prove to be the case is a mystery...