While a wonderfully sprightly Spain are showing themselves to be more than up-for-it in the Confederations Cup, getting off to a flier with a 2-1 victory over Uruguay on Sunday evening, there's still an awful lot of business being done back in La Liga. HereÃ¢ÂÂs a quick recap of all the hirings, firings and other stuff which doesn't rhyme so well...
The 100-year-old San MamÃÂ©s is set to be pulled down over the summer
The old San MamÃÂ©s is currently being dismantled, while the new incarnation is rising from the ashes (or rather, the concrete, to be more accurate). However, the works required on the brand-spanking new stadium may not be completed in time for the upcoming season, which could see Athletic playing in Real SociedadÃ¢ÂÂs Estadio Anoeta and promising to clean up after themselves, help with household chores and buy their fair share of milk.
SevillaÃ¢ÂÂs Unai Emery can now reclaim the throne as La Primera's primary pointer and squatter-in-chief, with Marcelo Bielsa taking his mad muttering ways somewhere else after the expiry and non-renewal of his Athletic contract. Ernesto Valverde, last seen leaving Mestalla, is expected to sign on as the clubÃ¢ÂÂs new boss any day now.
AthleticÃ¢ÂÂs big wigs have realised that the departure of Fernando Llorente leaves the side with just two strikers - Ariz Aduriz (very handy) and Gaizka Toquero (willing, but almost useless) - a scary prospect, indeed. This has seen a push for Osasuna forward Kike Sola. The Basque side are also making a strong bid for Betis star BeÃÂ±at, with the midfielder admitting; Ã¢ÂÂIf the clubs can come to an agreement then that would be great.Ã¢ÂÂ
One signing has already been made, with defender and former cantera product Xabier Etxeita joining from Elche, a side freshly promoted to the top flight.
Despite being traditionally the most turbulent side in La Liga, there hasn't been much going on at AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid of late. The biggest news was of course the loss of Falcao to the high-rollers of Monaco. The Colombian looked rather distraught at the prospect of being denied Champions League football next season for the sake of making his various owners and representatives even richer. There is better news at the back, with Thibaut Courtois hinting that he will be in goal for the Rojiblancos for another season, in what is becoming a comically long loan spell from Chelsea.
The forward line has been reinforced with striker Leo Baptistao joining from Rayo Vallecano. However, as the Brazilian youngster has a 10-league-goals-a-season vibe about him, the hunt still appears to be on for a Falcao copy cat, with Alvaro Negredo a distinct possibility, in what would be a return to the strikerÃ¢ÂÂs home town.
NeymarÃ¢ÂÂs lovely goal against Japan in the weekendÃ¢ÂÂs Confederations Cup clash brought some sighs of relief in the Catalan capital, with those who were initially questioning the fee paid for the forward suddenly feeling a little lighter of foot. Yet the issue observers outside Catalonia are most interested in is that involving Leo Messi and tax evasion claims involving the Argentine superstar and his father dating back to between 2007 and 2009. Both the player and club president Sandro Rosell have denied the allegations.
In terms of transfers, Thiago Alcantara's feet appear to be getting itchy, while BarÃÂ§a continue to track (a wonderful transfer window expression) Thiago Silva. VÃÂctor ValdÃÂ©s is expected to spend one last season scowling at his back four and completing mad sprints to harass the referee at every opportunity.
The news that blog favourite and Betis boss, Pepe Mel, would be staying on at the club until 2017 brought yelps of glee from LLL Towers. Although there has always been a bit of doubt over the long-term future of the part-time author in the city of Seville, Mel has signed on for what appears to be the longest managerial contract in the history of La Liga.
There has been quite a lot of movement in terms of the Betis squad, as the club builds for Europa League football. The number of AdriÃÂ¡ns in Spanish football went down by one to 7,989, with the goalkeeper moving to West Ham. Also moving to the Premier League - Swansea, to be precise - is the big-haired midfield battler, JosÃÂ© Alberto CaÃÂ±as. Three signings from the Segunda have been made, with Cedric costing just Ã¢ÂÂ¬1.21 after paying off a fairly small buy-out clause with the Spanish League.
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