Tim Stannard isn't really sure anymore about anything in La Liga – much like the league bigwigs...
On Tuesday, LLL opined rather sniffily that the chances of Sergio Ramos packing his saucy suitcases and heading off to Manchester United were about six per cent. The blog is going to do a flip-flop and double those chances to a full 12.5 per cent.
Now, it could be that LLL is being fooled by a Real Madrid/Spanish media arch conspiracy by drumming up some sales, clicks and ratings through the concoction of a soap opera about the future of the sending-off specialist.
There might well be a mini-montage, The Usual Suspects-style pay-off at the end of the month with Ramos walking off into the sunset arm-in-arm with the editor of Marca.
But for the moment, it does appear that Ramos has the hump with his employers after a good decade at the Bernabéu. The Ramos camp will say that the club have been silently spinning against the stopper by portraying him as a bit of a mercenary during talks to extend his contract past 2017. For that reason, our Sergio was at the offices of Real on Wednesday during his hols to take care of some business, pick up a few possessions from the training centre and possibly have a temper-managing table thump at the same time.
While all this kerfuffle is occupying the minions of Mordor, Atlético Madrid have been busy bees planning next season’s assault on... well, third. Croatian flop Mario Mandzukic has done one to Juventus to open up room for Argentine ace Luciano Vietto, a footballer who was given his debut by Diego Simeone while both were at Racing Club. The agent of Jackson Martínez has boasted that his client has agreed a deal with the Rojiblancos to potentially set up the departure of Antoine Griezmann in a megabucks move to Chelsea, and even Arda Turan, who is also angling for a move to the Premier League.
Barcelona are busy signing nobody, with the club in a period of stasis ahead of next month’s presidential election. Both Joan Laporta and incumbent Sandro Rosell have made their official cases to be the new King of Cataluyna. The former has based his campaign on the notion that he is not on trial for corruption – a strong hand – and having Eric Abidal as the sporting director. All that Josep Maria Bartomeu could do was hint that he had another signing up his sleeve, thought to be Atlético’s Koke.
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Another matter very much up in the air is when La Liga is actually going to start again. Due to the general level of dysfunction and distrust between the league, Spanish FA and the Players’ Union, there is no agreement on whether La Primera will ramp up on the weekend of the August 15 or 22. Indeed, even choosing a venue and lunch menu to discuss talks is probably out of the question. In a topsy-turvy, ever changing world, at least there is some solid consistency out there to keep everything grounded.