Two months to go to the end of the season, and clubs are already starting to think about their squads for next summer. All eyes are on Real Madrid, but there is still no news of a new defender, and the only name being mentioned at the moment is of Betis winger Joaquín. Barcelona are looking for a new striker, and Trezeguet is the current favourite now that they have sorted out their financial problems, with Deportivo's Catalonia born Luque as an alternative. No doubt though hundreds of names will be linked with both clubs before the "hunting season" closes next September.
A few changes since our last report, mainly on the managerial front. There have though been signings of players under the two rules allowing this once the transfer window has closed, either to replace long term injuries or in the case of players who are unemployed. The biggest name to change clubs is undoubtedly Martín Palermo, who has moved on loan to Alavés in place of Iván Alonso. Valladolid have also signed Bakari to fill the spot left by Makukula, although at the time of writing his transfer has been blocked by FIFA who do not recognise the injury rule. Real Sociedad have also recalled their under 21 keeper Riesgo from his loan at Eibar, taking advantage of an injury to a B team player. See link for more details. (22.03.04)