If someone had told us at the start of this week that Eto'o would have signed for Barcelona, Michael Owen would be a Real Madrid man and Vieira would be staying at Arsenal, we would have directed them to the nearest lunatic asylum!
This week's events have moved at breakneck speed, with Real Madrid and Barcelona presidents Florentino Pérez and Joan Laporta getting together midweek to unblock the Eto'o deal. Madrid didn't sit on their 50% of the 24 million fee though, swooping for Owen who Liverpool were reportedly trying to sell before his contract ended next summer.
Meanwhile Madrid finally gave up their fight to sign Vieira after Arsenal upped the asking price once again, the French midfielder surprisingly confessing on the London club's website that his love for the Gunners was the deciding factor in him deciding to stay at Highbury. Well, that and the steadily increasing 37 million fee we suppose.
Is that it then? Probably not. Saviola may well move on to Monaco to make space for Eto'o, and Camacho, who has always said he wanted to play Helguera in Vieira's spot, could persuade his bosses to sign a top class defender instead (Coloccini, Ayala?).
Meanwhile back on planet Earth life goes on. Real Sociedad could bolster their bank account if Liverpool meet the 15 million asking price for Xabi Alonso, Atlético Madrid could sign a couple of big names after their disappointing performance in the Intertoto cup final, and Mallorca have discretely moved to take Inter Milan's Spanish international Farinós on loan. And all this while most people are on holidays! (14.08.04)