The last few managerial positions are all but filled, and everything should be known within the next few days. Rayo have now signed the ex Las Palmas manager Fernando Vázquez, and Mallorca have contracted Rayo Vallecano's old boss Gregorio Manzano. Celta finally opted for ex Osasuna manager Miguel Angel Lotina to replace Víctor Fernández, and Lotina's place in Pamplona looks like being taken by Mexico's manager Javier Aguirre although he says he is busy with the World cup at the moment and denies any deal has been signed.
As usual a lot of transfer activity is centred around the two giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, although Atlético Madrid are also getting their fair share of coverage as they rebuild a new team for their return to the top flight. Real Madrid are currently on the "let the passengers off the bus first" stage, with Karanka moving back to Athletic Bilbao, and Geremi and probably Flavio were on their way to Chelsea. Barcelona have to do something to return to winning ways after three years without a trophy, and returning manager Van Gaal has already started to make changes, with a possible monster exchange deal in the offing between Lazio's Mendieta and Crespo and Barça's Rivaldo.
Meanwhile Spanish international defenders Abelardo and Sergi have been told to start looking for new employment elsewhere. Their new home could be Atlético Madrid, where controversial president Jesús Gil is defying the laws of gravity with a series of proposed deals which even the richest clubs in the world would have trouble digesting. (30.05.02)