So Robinho is staying - or is he? Whilst Real Madrid are saying that the Brazilian star will remain at the club (and must apologise to the fans for his bad behaviour!), the player himself told press that he is still in talks with Chelsea. Whatever the case it certainly was a close thing a couple of days ago, with Chelsea actually putting his shirts on sale at their website before withdrawing them a few hours later.
Madrid's efforts to sign Villa and Cazorla also fell through after their indignant clubs offered improved terms to their players, and it looks like their only big signing this summer will be Van der Vaart. Clubs still have a couple of days to make late signings though after the league authorities belatedly realized that the 31st was a Sunday and extended the deadline to midnight on Monday (great foresight!). That was good news at least for Espanyol, who lost Zabaleta and Riera to Premier League clubs this week, and now have to find quick replacements. (30.08.08)