New season transfers
The World Cup is filling all the headlines right now, but clubs are working quietly behind the scenes to set up their squads for next season. Barcelona for example have got the man to fill Larsson's number seven shirt (and a Scandinavian to boot), Chelsea's Gudjohnsen expected to be the only new face at the Nou Camp next season, "bargains" permitting (according to a statement from the club - "la pela es la pela", as they say in Catalonia!).
Uncertainty though at Real Madrid, where a power vacuum exists pending the upcoming presidential elections (scheduled for 2nd July). Five candidates are currently in the running, and they are all promising top name signings if they get in. It would be impossible to include all those names in our pages, but we leave in those that came up in the past just to give you an idea.
Madrid's neighbours Atlético are not hanging around though, and they appear to have found the funds again from somewhere to tie up several big name signings in their attempt to get back with the big boys. Argentina's 17 year old Kun Agüero is the most expensive, but Pernía, Seitaridis, Costinha and Zé Castro should all help new coach Javier Aguirre put in a serious challenge next season.
First things first though, and several clubs have had to get their managers on board before signing new players. As well as the two big Madrid sides, there have been changes at Betis, Espanyol, Osasuna, Racing and Zaragoza. Málaga are also expected to sign a new coach after being relegated, and Cádiz have already decided to offer their vacant post to veteran striker Oli, who retires this summer. (17.06.06)