Atletico Madrid undergo unprecedented upheaval

Atletico Madrid

This is a summer of mass upheaval at Atletico Madrid which has not been seen before in the Diego Simeone era. A plethora of players have left the club already for pastures new – Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis, Diego Godin, Gelson Martins and Juanfran Torres are among the confirmed exits (while Rodri is set for a move away too) to a squad which was never renowned for its depth.

That has left just 14 outfield players remaining and that is including Antoine Griezmann - who has confirmed he will leave this summer, probably joining Barcelona – and Alvaro Morata, on loan at Chelsea. As for the others, Angel Correa, Vitolo and Nikola Kalinic are all supposedly available for sale. Would the last player left please turn out the lights? Continue reading

Valencia transfer window to build on continuity and growth

Valencia celebrate

Valencia have recorded two successive top four finishes under their impressive boss Marcelino Garcia Toral and the message for the coming season is simple – more of the same please! Los Che, in their centenary year, also added the Copa del Rey title in May and want to continue to build on the momentum they have now built up.

Their success has been built on continuity and consistency, keeping and improving the same core of players within the squad and adding astutely. The club have not sought to make waves in the transfer market but unlike in recent years, they have acted astutely and shrewdly – impressively building a squad capable of challenging Spain’s elite. Continue reading

Spain Under-21 success show huge potential


Spain’s Under-21 side deservedly lifted the European Championships trophy this summer. They defeated their German counterparts 2-1 in the final and thus extracted revenge for their loss to the same opponents in the showpiece two years prior. Following an opening day loss to Italy, La Rojita excelled throughout and once again illustrated the bright future of the Spain national team.

Whereas in 2017 the player of the tournament was midfielder Dani Ceballos – who was once again starred this time out – it was his former Real Betis teammate Fabian Ruiz, now at Napoli, who took the main plaudits. His outings were a tour de force and showed why he is developing into what can be described as a ‘complete midfielder’ in the south of Italy. Continue reading

Theo Hernandez set to end nightmare Real Madrid spell

Theo Hernandez

Real Madrid full-back Theo Hernandez has completed his medical at Milan on a five-year contract in a deal worth €20m, according to multiple reports in the Spanish press. His two-year stint in the Spanish capital has been somewhat of a nightmare and has been one which has seen his stock fall drastically.

It was just two years ago that he completed his contentious move across the Spanish capital, joining Los Blancos in a €30m move from cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid. Theo had just completed an impressive season-long loan spell at Alaves and was tipped to be the long-term successor for Marcelo at Madrid and to become a star at international level with France. Continue reading

Real Madrid’s Raul de Tomas set for Benfica


Raul de Tomas appears to be the latest Real Madrid player who the club are set to cash-in upon despite playing a minimal role in their first-team. Indeed, the case of the 24-year-old is particularly pronounced – he has played just one senior game for Los Blancos and none across the past four seasons, but now he appears set to join Benfica in a €25m deal.

The 24-year-old netted 14 La Liga goals in 32 starts on loan at Rayo Vallecano this season but it was not enough to save the side from relegation back to the second tier. He has frequently spoken of his desire to fight for his place in the first-team at Madrid but the acquisitions of Luka Jovic and Eden Hazard have seen these hopes go from slim to virtually none. Continue reading

Gareth Bale remains main Real Madrid problem


There appears to have been no movement whatsoever on the outstanding problem issue at Real Madrid this summer: Gareth Bale. All reports indicate the club are desperate to offload the Welsh forward in this window but the player has absolutely no intentions of leaving, and no other clubs are in a position to afford him.

Los Blancos have sanctioned a huge summer spend which has seen five first-team players added worth a total in transfer fees of €300m plus a mass increase in their wage bill. To date, only Marcos Llorente has left the club – joining Atletico Madrid in a €40m move – this summer, with Bale’s massive wages said to be severely restricting the club’s ability to do more business. Continue reading

Real Betis to break transfer record for Borja Iglesias

Borja Iglesias

Real Betis fell away from the European places last season primarily due to a lack of firepower and a blunt attack in the final third. The striking position was earmarked many months ago for being their primary area of concern this summer with the aim of landing a minimum of one prolific player.

A multitude of reports now claim that the club are prepared to break their 22-year long transfer record to land Espanyol striker Borja Iglesias. The hitman has a €28m release clause at the RCDE Stadium and that would trump the signing of Brazilian winger Denilson, in then (1997) a world record transfer which brought Betis into global headlines. Continue reading

Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos faces key decision


Two years ago Dani Ceballos starred at the European Under-21 Championships. Then at Real Betis, the explosive young midfielder announced himself to the wider football world in spectacular fashion – showcasing his abilities in the most impressive manner.

That summer, the central midfielder joined Real Madrid in a cut price deal – which infuriated Betis fans, who believed he would pen a new deal at the club. This was seen as a landmark deal with Madrid yet again nailing down the future on one of Spain’s brightest emerging talents. However, things have not quite worked out that way. Continue reading

Celta Vigo look to natives for stronger season

Denis Suarez

Celta Vigo are look for home comforts as they aim to improve on a nightmare campaign which almost culminated in their relegation from La Liga. It was the heroics of captain and star forward Iago Aspas which saved the Galician club from the drop – with the sum of their parts falling fall below their output as a team.

Celta have already completed the signing of midfielder Denis Suarez from Barcelona – eight years after he initially left the club – in a deal worth up to €16m after add-ons have been included. Os Celestes now have their eyes set on another Vigo-native who is on the market – Valencia forward Santi Mina. Continue reading

Monchi brings summer overhaul at Sevilla


Famed sporting director Monchi has returned to Sevilla after two years away and is making up for lost time by conducting somewhat of a squad overhaul. The Andalusian club were hailed as the model of a modern and well-oiled machine in terms of their sporting direction under the former goalkeeper but in the 24 months in-between they had notable lost their way.

A lot of money was spent but Sevilla’s on-field success – whilst not totally drying up – notably dipped with successive league finishes outside the top five in La Liga and not landing any further cup success. This was always going to be a busy summer of comings and goings in Seville, and the first few weeks have born this out. Continue reading