Transfer rumours

It is 44 years since Spain last celebrated a European Championship win, and it is therefore understandable that some of the hangovers are going to last for a few days or so. As a result the transfer market has been sluggish this week, with the 23 members of the squad putting the many offers on hold while they take a few days rest. Xavi is the latest to attract mind boggling bids after being named player of the tournament by UEFA, but the Barcelona figure-head says he is not moving.

Valencia say they want to hold on to the two David's, Villa and Silva, and could be prepared to break the club's salary ceiling to do so, although Atlético Madrid have stepped in with a big bid for Silva after the Oliveira deal hit snags. Meanwhile Güiza looks like joining Luis Aragonés at Fenerbahçe, and with his Mallorca team mate Fernando Navarro already agreeing terms with Sevilla and Ibagaza going to Villarreal, the Balearic Island club moved quickly to tie up Jurado, Mario Suárez, Josemi, Ayoze and Oscar Díaz this week.

Elsewhere Barcelona sold Deco to Chelsea, but they may have more problems off-loading Ronaldinho (now nicknamed "Gordinho") after he appeared in a charity match with a beer-gut which would make a dart player proud. Eto'o is also expected to move on, although Barça say they will not firm up a replacement (Adebayor, Arshevin?) until the Cameroonian striker has gone. That may be more difficult if the motion of censure against the club president wins through tomorrow.

And finally what of Cristian Ronaldo? Honestly who knows? Manchester United have apparently upped his salary to above what Real Madrid are offering, and say they will not sell him for less than €100 million. Madrid are reportedly prepared to offer a record €85 million, but no more. Hopefully a decision will be made next week which will allow everyone to get on with their lives. Looking at past history with other signings though, don't hold your breath! (05.07.08)