News round-up: Levante to Real Madrid
The more positive news from La Liga over the past few days is that is during that period, no major talent has been sold to the Premier League in Spain's footballing yard sale.
All that could change, though, if Roberto Soldado and Spurs get it together over a Ã¢ÂÂ¬30 million deal. In the meantime, here is the latest update from another batch of clubs who are trying to get their houses in order before the Spanish league kicks off in about three weeks time.
For those shameful millions among you who have not been keeping up with the the Levante news, JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s is in charge these days. And that means fun, fun, fun times to come. A brief recap of the summer so far for the Valencia side concerns Levante trying to move on from the match-fixing scandal from last season.
Sergio Ballesteros is no longer a player at the club and nor is Juanlu. Gustavo MunÃÂºa has joined Fiorentina, while JosÃÂ© Barkero has moved onto Zaragoza which sounds a lot of fun at the moment. As with a large chunk of the clubs in la Primera this summer, little or no money has been spent on recruits. The most notable freebie coming in is former Sporting forward David Barral, who joins after a spell in the Turkish league with Orduspor.
One bit of business on Bernd SchusterÃ¢ÂÂs agenda at MÃÂ¡laga has been taken care of, at least. That is the rather sad parting of ways with Julio Baptista. Ã¢ÂÂI was the first to come in and last to leave,Ã¢ÂÂ noted the Brazilian forward who is off to Cruzeiro. The clubÃ¢ÂÂs German coach is still looking for a replacement for The Beast and Javier Saviola who is now with Olympiacos.
The footballer that Schuster has in mind is Nicklas Bendtner, but it seems that the Dane cannot be persuaded to take a pay cut to come to the Spanish south coast. Ã¢ÂÂHe has to decide what to do. Either make up for lost time (in his career) or keeping on earning money,Ã¢ÂÂ shrugged Bernado. Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid manager has been giving bold predictions on the campaign to come in La Liga. Ã¢ÂÂThe title is just between two teams but there is a nice scrap for fourth until tenth,Ã¢ÂÂ said Schuster.
The Pamplona club have been up to friendly action in the Netherlands, although Osasuna did not seem to have a good time of it in Holland. The side played five matches without winning any of them. Indeed, the Navarre outfit did not score for the first three games which sees Osasuna at least being consistent with their issues in front of goal from the past league campaign.
The Madrid club are crossing all their fingers and toes at the moment, hoping to win their appeal against a European competition ban handed down by UEFA for the penalty of outstanding debts. The response from the Court of Arbitration for Sport is due on Wednesday. If it is a negative then Rayo get to go about their business in the next campaign and try to perform more minor miracles in staying up. Should Rayo win, then it will be a European adventure for the Vallecas club who could be hosting some big names in their three-sided ground. Of course, the stretch on an already small squad may well end in RayoÃ¢ÂÂs relegation, but those are the snakes and ladders of football.
HereÃ¢ÂÂs the occasional Real Madrid ticker tape news burst! Gareth Bale is coming to the Spanish capital for Ã¢ÂÂ¬125 million or Ã¢ÂÂ¬95 million in the next few days. Or as part of a deal with Luka Modric and Fabio Coentrao. Or there will be talks in Miami next week between Florentino PÃÂ©rez and Daniel Levy. Or nothing will happen at all, and Marca would have wasted seven of their past nine front covers on the Spurs player.
The only factual news available is that the squad is now in Los Angeles for pre-season training. Carlo AncelottiÃ¢ÂÂs finest (Antonio AdÃÂ¡n has not travelled) are also set to play in the Guinness International Champions Cup, which kicks off for the Spanish side with a clash against LA Galaxy in Phoenix on Thursday.