This week could be the lull before the storm, with little news over the last few days, a holiday period in Spain. However the transfer market could take off next week as the big guns look at their pre-season performances and try to fill the gaps before the league kicks off. Real Madrid's interest in Ronaldo has been filling headlines, and decisions are expected to be made once he returns from his mid-week friendly game with Brazil. He won't be cheap though, and the fee of around 50 or 60 million may be offset by players such as Makelele, Flavio or Solari.
Assuming the move happens, this could trigger off a chain movement. Madrid may have to sell to help finance the transaction, and Morientes (who would lose his place to Ronaldo anyway) may pack his bags and accept an offer from overseas (Spurs?) or more nearby (Betis?). Meanwhile the Luque saga has taken another twist after Barcelona showed an interest in signing Deportivo's Diego Tristán rather than Jardel, who was being lined up as their new striker. With Luque very close to joining the Gallician side, Tristán would be allowed to leave to make room for him.
Both Real Madrid and Barcelona could also sign defenders before the end of the month, with Mexico's Márquez being added to a lengthening list of candidates (Chivu, Edmilson, Roque Junior, Nesta, Metzelder, Thuram etc) for the Santiago Bernabeu, and Ian Harte joining Placente and Juanfran as possible left-sided signings at the Nou Camp. Again somebody would have to go to make room, and Liverpool are hoping that either Overmars or Munitis would be available to replace Nicky Barmby on the left of midfield. (18.08.02)