Spain’s transfer window closes quietly

As it turned out, transfer deadline day turned out to be as limp and lifeless as a typical weekend in the life of La Liga Loca. For starters, we never got the rumoured massive multimillion swoops by Real Madrid and Barcelona for Franck Ribery and Dean Windass respectively.

And what’s more, Atlético Madrid’s attempts to get their hands on Fanni came to nothing. And hell's bells, there’s a Sergio Ramos joke in there somewhere to keep the FourFourTwo lawyers busy after the Bank Holiday weekend.

Being utterly broke, the Rojiblancos couldn't come up with the 12 million Euros Rennes wanted for the right-back, which is a little unfortunate as Tuesday saw the flogging of Mad-dog Johnny Heitinga to Everton, where he’ll spend the next few seasons giving away penalties.

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This brings Atleti’s net spend for the pre-season to a rather paltry zero, although a vast number of players like José Antonio Reyes and Cleber Santana did rejoin Abel Resino’s squad on loan. Unfortunately, pretty much all of them were unwanted by Atleti’s leadership in the first place.

Iñako Díaz-Guerra of AS is less than optimistic when considering his favourite side’s chances, this season, with the transfer window now closed.

“Atleti are facing the campaign short of full-backs, without a creator, and with a squad half-filled with black sheep,” grumbles the columnist.

However, club president Enrique Cerezo seems to disagree with this disparaging assessment and argued that “if four players get injured then our squad will be small. If that doesn’t happen, then it won’t be.”

Barcelona grabbed their man with the signing of Shakhtar central defender Dmitry Chygrynskiy for a whopping 25m Euros. Fans will be hoping that this move goes better than the previous purchases of Henrique and Caceres who turned out to be big old defensive duds.

The signing of the Ukrainian, who definitely has a Kasabian air about him, takes Barça’s summer spending to 115 million Euros this summer – something that's almost certainly going to cause one or two tutting editorials in the Madrid press in the football-free fortnight to come.

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There's an almighty tug of love, in the non-Ever Banega sense, going on with Deportivo/Zaragoza midfielder Queen Lafita, with both clubs now claiming that he belongs to them.

The problem came with Zaragoza decided to activate a buy-back clause some half an hour or so before the transfer window closed. “I'm still a bit faint,” declared drama-queen Depor boss Miguel Angel Lotina, reflecting on what happened when he was told of the move. “I didn’t sleep that night.”

The problem is that Deportivo are claiming that only 2 of the 3.5 million Euros needed to activate the clause was deposited by Zaragoza. “We do not accept the way it was conducted or the details,” complained Depor president Augusto Lendoiro.

His opposite number Eduardo Bandrés couldn’t give two hoots what Deportivo think and declared that “[Queen] Lafita is a Zaragoza player. There’s no doubt.”

The bad news for all parties concerned is that the matter will have to resolved by the LFP, who have advised that they will make a decision on the mess in a mere fortnight’s time.

Aside from the somewhat stunning news that Dutch badboy Rafael van der Vaart remains a Real Madrid player, it was a whimpering end to what had been an explosive start to Spain’s transfer season.

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