Major movement imminent in Madrid with Ancelotti and Negredo set to arrive
Could Ancelotti and his eyebrow finally be set to move to Madrid?
There are rumblings in SpainÃ¢ÂÂs capital city. Something saucy is about to happen. In fact, it is nothing less than the eruption of a footballing volcano that is about to shower Madrid with its red-hot gossip goodness.
Ever since the departure of JosÃÂ© Mourinho waaaaaay back at the end of last season, La Liga Loca has reported, rolling news style, that there's nothing to report at the Santiago BernabÃÂ©u. No new manager, no new big signings, no fun at all for a club whose entire raison dÃ¢ÂÂetre, as far as LLL is concerned, is to act as the sporting equivalent of an amusing dancing monkey dressed as Charlie Chaplin. Or even the poor blighter that eats the poisoned dates in Raiders of the Lost Ark...
Finally, the promises of the papers are about to bare fruit, with PSG on the brink of hiring a new coach, which should in turn facilitate the departure of Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid. This chain reaction would release Gonzalo HiguaÃÂn to Arsenal and bring Isco from MÃÂ¡laga, which would then allow the local media to stop discussing the Confederations Cup as if they actually gave a flying hoot about it.
Yet AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid may be about to continue with the thunder-stealing vibe of last season by announcing the capture of Alvaro Negredo, a striker who would be the perfect replacement for football agent-plaything, Falcao. This story isn't your typical nonsense summer transfer rumour - it actually has legs, with Sevilla president JosÃÂ© MarÃÂa del Nido admitting a move might be on the cards.
Ã¢ÂÂNegredo wants to go and this pushes us in the negotiations,Ã¢ÂÂ revealed the big-wig. Ã¢ÂÂHe has two offers. One from AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid and another from a foreign team.Ã¢ÂÂ Del Nido also suggested that he would quite like to be shot of most of NegredoÃ¢ÂÂs teammates, too. Ã¢ÂÂEnding up ninth and paying salaries of Ã¢ÂÂ¬3 million? I donÃ¢ÂÂt think so,Ã¢ÂÂ scoffed the Sevilla president.
Should the Negredo deal produce the goods, then the Rojiblancos would already be looking in good shape for next season, with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois confirmed as staying a third season in the Spanish capital, with Brazilian playmaker Diego seemingly not too far away from a return to the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n.
The ever-cheerful Bernd Schuster was unveiled down in MÃÂ¡laga, a club that has changed tack with the wind - or something nautical with that - and knocked its budget for the season down to Ã¢ÂÂ¬40 million. Ã¢ÂÂThe club has given a signal that we will take a very different path,Ã¢ÂÂ mused the German on a deal that could see him staying on as coach until 2018. Ã¢ÂÂEven I was surprised they offered me five years,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted the moustache-sporting maestro, who could still be around when Ã¢ÂÂFast and Furious 12 - Northampton NightsÃ¢ÂÂ hits the cinemas.
Athletic Bilbao have also been busy, with Ernesto Valverde in jovial mood at his unveiling as manager of the club he previously coached between 2003 and 2005. Ã¢ÂÂSecond parts have never been good, except with the Godfather,Ã¢ÂÂ joked the Empire-Strikes-Back-forgetting Valverde, a coach who is already puffing his cheeks at the challenge of replacing Marcelo Bielsa and leading a team with just the one functioning striker.