Part four of Tim Stannard's round-up of the off-season shenanigans in la Primera...
Real MadridPerhaps for the first time ever in recorded history, there is absolutely nothing of interest going on at Real Madrid. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs no manager, no Sporting Director and no word from Florentino PÃÂ©rez on anything. To be honest, it is quite a blissful situation. Everything hinges on Carlo AncelottiÃ¢ÂÂs arrival in the Spanish capital, and that moment is tied up with what appears to be a madcap chase by PSG to find the ItalianÃ¢ÂÂs replacement. Until that happens, there is nothing to be seen here in regards to signings, departures or updates on Cristiano RonaldoÃ¢ÂÂs happiness levels. So move along now ladies and gentleman, donaÃ¢ÂÂt you have homes to go to?
Real SociedadThe Basque club lost their number one, with coach Philippe Montanier moving back to Ligue 1. Sociedad have gone for the well worn number two approach, with last season's assistant coach, Jagoba Arraste, allowed to take the Anoeta hot seat despite being just 35-years-old and having limited management experience. Ã¢ÂÂI think heÃ¢ÂÂs completely ready despite his age,Ã¢ÂÂ said La Real captain Xabi Prieto, giving his seal of approval to the move as his club prepare for Champions League football. Well, the qualification phase anyway. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs a different season but an exciting one at the same time,Ã¢ÂÂ were the first thoughts of Arraste upon his unveiling.
SevillaWell, another non-Barcelona/Real Madrid gem has flown the nest - assuming precious stones can fly - with Jesus Navas leaving for Manchester City. The Ã¢ÂÂ¬17.5m pertaining to that transfer, along with the imminent move of defender Luis Alberto to Aston Villa, leave the clubBÃ¢ÂÂs coffers looking a little stronger, which should enable the Andalusians to ward off any approaches for Alvaro Negredo. Ã¢ÂÂWe wonÃ¢ÂÂt sell Negredo for a price that we donÃ¢ÂÂt consider to be opportune,Ã¢ÂÂ said Sevilla Sporting Director, Monchi. Yet, should the Spaniard be moved along, Sevilla are rumoured to be sniffing around Helder Postiga, which would be a fine notion in itself to add a little firepower to the Sevilla forward line. Ã¢ÂÂHe is interesting to us, but there are limits,Ã¢ÂÂ Monchi said of the Portuguese hit man.
ValenciaNew president, new manager, probably the same arguments in the wacky world of Valencia. Miroslav Djukic moved from Valladolid to take over on the Mestalla bench once Ernesto Valverde decided he didn't fancy sticking around for another season. The Serbian, who spent six years at the club between 1997 and 2003, feels that Valencia are a Ã¢ÂÂsleeping giantÃ¢ÂÂ that is going to impose itself on opponents next season. One of the first orders of business for Djukic was to tell David Albelda that he was not going to be a big part of the plans next season. The incoming Javi Fuego from Rayo will probably take the veteranÃ¢ÂÂs role in the centre of the park. Another job to be taken care of is to sell one of the teamÃ¢ÂÂs two goalkeepers, Diego Alves and Guaita, to raise some funds. Also somewhere near the top of the agenda is keeping an eye on any want-away grumblings from Roberto Soldado, currently doing rather well with Spain.
ValladolidThe first task of the summer for the Pucela outfit was to replace departing manager Miroslav Djukic. This was achieved fairly swiftly, and in LLLÃ¢ÂÂs humble opinion, very well, with Juan Ignacio MartÃÂnez joining from Levante, a club where the coach really did not seem to be enjoying himself at all. Ã¢ÂÂNext seasonÃ¢ÂÂs objective is consolidation,Ã¢ÂÂ revealed the man known as JIM. Ã¢ÂÂBecause I think staying in a league as competitive as this one would be a success.Ã¢ÂÂ Too true.
ZaragozaOh dear. Mmm. Oh dear. Well, poor Manolo JimÃÂ©nez has gone for starters, and the big soppy Andalusian is quite upset about the relegation-tinged nature of his departure. Ã¢ÂÂIt wasnÃ¢ÂÂt to be and I believe that I am leaving with this debt, a great debt that I hope to be able to pay one day,Ã¢ÂÂ was his touching lament. Paco Herrera, last seen being sacked by Celta Vigo, is set to be the coach charged with leading a team riven by internal division and supported by a group of fans who want the current owner, Agapito Iglesias, to sell up and move on.