Transfer rumours

Wow, what an end to this summer's transfer window! Real Madrid kept us on edge right up until shortly before the midnight deadline, when they announced they had sold Robinho to Manchester City for €42 million, a British record. The premier League club had been taken over only that day, and the new owners topped Chelsea's offer for the unsettled player. Madrid were delighted, especially as they didn't have to sell him to a direct Champions League rival, and they themselves then made one last try for a replacement. Berbatov was in their sights briefly, but then (accoriding to Valencia at least) they made a massive €55 million bid for David Villa. That was turned down though, leaving the Merengues with a lot of cash but nowhere to spend it.

That was only the tip of the iceberg though, and the LFP registered no less than 47 moves on the last day. Zaragoza and Racing Santander were the most active, the Maños selling Diego Milito to Genoa and Sergio García to Betis, and using the funds to buy out Jorge López's contract at Racing. The Cantabrians themselves took Luccin in return, and also signed Valera and Jorge Manuel. Zigic turned them down though after loan terms had been agreed with Valencia, but as the López deal was against their wishes they are allowed 10 more days under league rules to find a replacement (they hope Zigic himself can be persuaded). Earlier in the week Espanyol had to move quickly after Zabaleta and Riera were poached by the Premier League, and they signed Pareja, Nené and Liverpool's own Steve Finnan at the last gasp. That's all over though, and for four months at least we can get on with the football! (02.09.08)