Around the grounds in La Liga - Celta Vigo to Granada
From Celta Vigo's rebranding as Barça Reject United, to Getafe's continued transfer market brilliance, via the usual car park confusion at Granada - here's part two of La Liga Loca's wonderful voyage around Spain's grounds.
Tis a most beguiling project indeed at Celta Vigo under laugh-a-minute Luis Enrique. The former Barcelona 'B' boss is flicking through his little black book with the aim of calling on some former (and some still very current) youth system players to ask if they fancy maybe spending some time with him in Galicia. Defender Andreu Fontas was snapped up for €1 million, followed by forward Nolito, who uses up a great deal of the Iago Aspas cash thanks to the €2.6 million paid to Benfica. There are reports Enrique is also after Rafinha and Jonathan dos Santos.
La Liga Loca can only imagine that when the Celta boss last week said that the future of his new club would be shaped by the youth system, Enrique was in fact referring to the cantera of the Camp Nou club.
The only team in the world that almost rhymes with squelchy. Fittingly for a team based in a town with an economy based on the footwear industry, Elche are already shoe-horning a few players into their squad for the upcoming survival battle. The east coast side have borrowed a couple of slip-ons from Sevilla, with midfielder Miroslav Stevanovic and forward Manu del Moral joining on loan. The latter hopes to 'enjoy his football' with Elche, something no player at Sevilla has been able to do for about four years now.
A horrendous debt of €150 million leaves Espanyol forced to sell players for another two seasons in order to make ends meet. That was the grim report from Perico Vice President, Jose Luis Morlanes. 'The level of the club's debt could endanger its survival and its capacity for growth,' came the stark warning. For this reason, the news in Cornella-land comes largely from the departure lounge. Joan Verdu finished off his contract and went to Betis. Raul Baena joined up with Rayo whilst Jordi Amat became yet another Spaniard at Swansea for a handy €2.9 million fee.
The Madrid club's remarkable record in the transfer market continued with the sale of Abdelaziz Barrada to Qatari outfit Al Rayyan for a 'cool' €10 million. This sees Getafe now racking up approximately €77 million in sales over the past five summers. That's quite handy considering only about 15 people pay to watch the club each week. For this reason, it is easy to see why Luis Garcia gets a bit uppity when people accuse the still very small institution of lacking motivation and ambition. 'Being tenth in La Liga is not so easy,' pointed out the Getafe manager.
Currently there are no plans to replace Barrada, with the stroppy Pablo Sarabia pencilled in to the role in an attempt to stop the youngster's once promising career from nosediving completely.
If you want to know how confusing Granada are, then have a look at this link to see the kind of wheeling and dealing the club gets up to every summer. Hundreds of players come in and go out on loan to such an extent that the security officer at the team's car park must have a permanent migraine. Nevertheless, Granada are front runners in the competition for doing the best bit of business in the transfer market, so far, having picked up goal-grabbers extraordinaire, Riki and Piti, for free from Deportivo and Rayo respectively.