Clubs are still putting together their squads, with those taking part in summer competitions the first to move. Barcelona and Atlético Madrid both have to play Champions League qualifiers in August, and Barça tied up another young defender this week, Brazil's Henrique. Guardiola says that Ronaldinho, Deco and Eto'o can go, and they are looking for another three players, with Adebayor, Hleb and Arshavin the current favourites to fill the vacancies. Atlético agreed terms with defenders Ujfalusi and Heitinga some time ago, and they are currently working on a tried and tested third striker to join Agüero and Forlán. As we go to press Zaragoza's Oliveira is favourite to join on loan, but they are also very close to signing Recre's Sinama-Pongolle. If Oliveira does join though, Sinama will probably go on loan to Racing Santander next season.
The first club to return from holidays though will be Deportivo, who are taking part in the Intertoto Cup. Lotina is sticking to the block of players which took them up from the relegation spots in a spectacular second half of the season, although he has tied up Omar Bravo and Mista to strengthen the attack. Meanwhile the Cristian Ronaldo saga goes on, and although Real Madrid are saying nothing, all reports are that "an announcement" will be made on 7th July (7/7 neatly coinciding with his shirt number at Manchester United). In fact so sure are the local press of a move that the theoretical shirt number is now the main talking point, and although Ronaldo would not be given Raúl's "7", he could take 17 or even 77 instead. All that of course remains to be seen, and the English club are reportedly fighting back with big offers for several of Madrid's top players. (28.06.08)