The summer transfer market closed at midnight last night, and until the window opens again at the beginning of January, clubs will only be allowed to make new signings in the cases of long term injuries (five months or more) or if the player in question is out of contract. As usual there was a last minute rush, ending with Mallorca's signing of Real Sociedad keeper Westerveld a few minutes before the final bell. Real Sociedad took on Porto left back Rossato, Atlético Madrid loaned out under 21 internationals Gabi and Arizmendi and Euro 2004 striker Vryzas joined Celta on loan. Earlier in the week Betis finally signed Celta's Edu, and Villarreal's Víctor moved back to Valladolid.
The courtrooms of Spain and the rest of Europe were buzzing as well, with Saviola, Sylvinho and Contreras all getting their Spanish passports just hours before the deadline closed, and Ponzio and Edmilson doing likewise in Italy. Saviola moved on loan to Monaco anyway, but Barcelona and Zaragoza in particular were able to register all their players as planned. That was not the case though with Atlético and Racing Santander, and Contra and Afek both had to leave on loan deals in the end.
Back to the legal offices, and both Pulidos will be moving on even though the authorities initially blocked their transfers, the clubs involved coming to out of court agreements. Numancia were one of the parties involved, and they are also resisting Juan Carlos Moreno's move to Almería on the grounds that his contract should have been renewed automatically after playing 25 games last season. Meanwhile Deportivo were unhappy to hear that the LFP rejected their registration of Acciairi as they did not get Real Murcia's agreement to the move. The East coast side were unable to sign Luis Helguera as a replacement in time, and therefore called everything off. Deportivo have signed central defender Federico Rariz from Nacional Montevideo, although he will not be joining until the beginning of January. (01.09.04)