Less than two months to go now until the transfer window opens again, and clubs are starting to position themselves. Barcelona are still expected to make a couple of signings to cover for the injured Edmilson, Gabri and Motta, and they have even mooted the return of Edgar Davids, although Tacchinardi and Dacourt are current favourites. Deportivo may also sign a couple of players (although that may depend on whether they are still in Europe or not), and Atlético Madrid are also making moves to tie up a couple of big names, with Tévez and Robinho top of the list. Real Madrid meanwhile have announced that they will not be taking on new players this winter, although they are rumoured to be watching Van Bommel and Cassano for next summer. It may depend though on whether Figo stays or not, but if the club don't start talks soon to extend his contract he may get tired of waiting.
A couple of changes since our last report, most notably the sacking of the first manager in the top flight, Benito Floro. Mallorca have managed to persuade Héctor Cúper to come out of semi-retirement to return, his love of the island a major factor in his decision. The club are also moving to sign young Japanese forward Okubo, who is expected to join in January. Meanwhile Villarreal are having a bad time, with Sonny Anderson legging it to Qatar to pay for his costly divorce, Marcos Senna provisionally suspended for a positive drug test, Roger getting a bad injury and Battaglia wanting to go home as his wife is unsettled. They have at least signed Sorín to cover the left flank, and are looking for a striker as well. Albacete have also taken on an unemployed keeper Pindado to replace Valbuena, who has had an operation on a broken wrist. (06.11.04)