Garitano exercising his relegation ghosts with Athletic Bilbao

AthleticBilbao-Lekue

When Athletic Bilbao promoted Gaizka Garitano to first team manager, from a role with the club’s reserve side, his brief was clear – avoid an embarrassing La Liga relegation.

Sacking managers has been a common theme at the Basque side, since Ernesto Valverde left the club for Barcelona in 2017,with Garitano the third coach to take the reins at San Mames in just 18 months.

He has replaced Eduardo Berizzo, and follows in the footsteps of Berizzo’s predecessor Cuco Ziganda, who was plucked from reserve team management at the club.

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Getafe set for shock European return

Getafe

As La Liga enters it’s final stages of the 2018-19 season, the shake up for European qualification is beginning to take shape – with Getafe a surprise candidate to finish in the qualification spots.

The side from South Madrid have maintained their consistent form since December 2018, with just two La Liga defeats in their last 11 league games – against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Jose Bordalas’ side are currently in fifth place and in prime position to qualify for European football for the first time since 2011.

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Barcelona face tough run, as Real Madrid mount challenge

Messi-PSV-vs-Barcelona(1)

Defending La Liga champions are facing a tough run of fixtures in domestic and European action, just as bitter rivals Real Madrid are preparing a late bid for the league title.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have drawn their last two league games, against Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, dropping four key points, in the same fortnight that Santiago Solari’s team have beaten Alaves and Atletico Madrid.

That has nudged Los Blancos ahead of their city rivals as the Catalan side’s main challengers, and the current leaders will be looking over their shoulder.

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Cagliari splash the cash to avoid relegation battle

cagliari

Cagliari have looked to offset the potential of a Serie A relegation battle come the end of the season, with significant investment in the January transfer window.

Only two sides spent more than Rolando Marin’s side during the winter transfer period, with Fiorentina and AC Milan outspending them.

However Cagliari, who are currently 14th in the league table, have looked to bring in a number of new faces for the remainder of the campaign.

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Piatek ready for the step up at AC Milan

piatek

Big money moves involving young players can be a tricky business, particularly if that player comes with a promising reputation, but Krzysztof Piatek looks ready to continue his incredible Serie A form with AC Milan.

The 23 year-old completed his long awaited move from Genoa to the San Siro on January 23rd, and he is already making a name for himself at his new club.

His first start yielded two goals as Gennaro Gattuso’s side eliminated Napoli from the Coppa Italia with a straightforward 2-0 home win.

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Inter demand permanent Arsenal transfer for Ivan Perisic

perisic

Inter Milan have ruled out the possibility of Ivan Perisic moving on loan to Arsenal, with the Serie A side only open to a transfer according to reports in Italy.

The Italian side are believed to be open to the Croatian international moving on from Milan, however they are not willing to let him leave on loan.

That has led to a potential switch to Arsenal being blocked, with Gunners boss Unai Emery making clear earlier this month that his side would only be able to make loan deals this month, due to budget issues.

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Rayo Vallecano looking to trade places with Leganes

Rayo Vallecano

One of the most intriguing fixtures in La Liga Game Week 22 will be between two lesser known sides from the Spanish capital – Rayo Vallecano and Leganes.

The sides from South Madrid face each other on Monday night, in what could be a decisive battle in the fight to avoid relegation.

The two sides are just 17km apart, however local rivalry will not be on the only thing on the line at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, with the season edging towards its final third.

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Real Betis to swoop for Tottenham outcast Vincent Janssen

Victor Janssen Tottenham

Real Betis are set to make a late bid for Tottenham striker Vincent Janssen, as the La Liga side look to bolster their attacking options before the transfer window closes.

Janssen has not played for the Premier League side so far this season, and he could make a loan move to the Andalusian club in the next 24 hours, with a purchase option available in the summer.

The Dutch international has endured a torrid time in North London following his move from AZ Alkmaar at the start of the 2017-18 season.

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Barcelona perform U-Turn on Denis Suarez to Arsenal

Denis Suarez

La Liga leaders Barcelona have reopened the door on Denis Suarez’s loan move to move to Arsenal, after the transfer had looked to be dead in the water just last week.

Rumours of disagreements over the specific terms of the deal, primarily Arsenal’s unwillingness to agree on a compulsory purchase clause on the midfielder at the end of the season, had looked to have killed off the move.

However the Catalan side have now given Suarez the green light to make the move to the Premier League.

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Alvaro Morata’s Atletico Madrid move stalls

alvaro morata chelsea

Alvaro Morata’s move to La Liga title challengers Atletico Madrid is yet to be completed, with both sides saying they are still some way off an agreement for the 26 year-old.

The Spanish international looks certain to end his stay in West London, but time is running out ahead of the closing of winter transfer window at the end of January.

Atletico have confirmed that they are interested in bringing Morata back to Madrid, where he spent five years at rivals Real Madrid, across two separate spells, however manager Diego Simeone confirmed that nothing is yet agreed between them.

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