The transfer window closed at midnight last night, and no more moves will be allowed from now until the end of the season (except in the case of serious injuries or players who are unemployed). As usual there was a flurry of activity on the last day, with 31 players being registered between the top two divisions. As expected, Deportivo were the last club to move, signing on Coloccini but failing in the end to tie up Lucho González. Pandiani was on his way to Fiorentina when the Italians pulled out at the last minute, but they still had time to set up a loan deal with Birmingham City, who also take Racing Santander's Nafti on loan.
Racing too were late players, with Toño and Pablo Sierra coming in and Diego Mateo loaned out to Valladolid. And perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the announcement that Arteta would be leaving Real Sociedad to join Everton on a loan deal, bringing in much needed cash to the Basque side's coffers. The ex Barcelona and Rangers midfielder had not hit it off with coach Amorrortu, and is expected to be the natural replacement for Gravesen, who joined Real Madrid a couple of weeks ago.
With the market only just closed, clubs are already thinking of next season. Real Madrid have agreed terms for Solari to extend his contract for another four years, and Robinho is all but tied up. The big news in today's papers though was the agreement between Baptista and Atlético Madrid for next summer. Nobody appears to thave talked to Sevilla about it yet though, and with another couple of years to go on his contract, the Andalusians will put up a big fight to keep him. This one could run and run. (01.02.05)