La Liga: Lionel Messi could be playing his last season with the Catalan giants

La Liga: Spain’s Transfer Scramble Gears Up

As far as La Liga transfer news is concerned, there’s only been one story in town this past fortnight.

In fact, there has only been a story dominating the world football agenda and that now finally seems to have been resolved – for now at least.

It means, for one season anyway, Lionel Messi will stay in Spain and try to enjoy football again under his new coach Ronaldo Koeman.

The Argentine did believe he would have a better chance of finding happiness away from the Catalan capital after a trophy-less 2019/20 season which concluded in humiliating fashion.

However, the little genius will be at Barcelona next season (his contract has a year remaining) and the world will be watching to see if it is the start of a long goodbye or if relations are repaired to a degree that he ultimately pens a new deal.

Right now, the latter seems unlikely.

In announcing he was staying at the club he ‘loves’, there was no talk of a new deal, no promises, no pretence. There was no celebration, just a kind of weariness.

So we will watch with interest to see how many more La Liga highlights stem from the Barca skipper with the new campaign just around the corner.

Of course, there is more to La Liga than Messi and the SBOTOP La Liga betting odds make Real Madrid favourites to retain the title they clinched recently.

They reportedly missed out on signing Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek but there will be no shortage of other transfer news involving the top clubs in the division.

 

One seemingly definite departure is James Rodriguez with the playmaker due to be transferred to Everton, managed by the wily Italian and former Real boss Carlo Ancelotti.

While the future of Gareth Bale remains unclear, surely any club which comes in with a reasonable offer will be allowed to snap up the out-of-favour Welshman?

Incomings wise, Real have been linked with a galaxy of stars – as they are most summers – and this time three of the most linked to Los Blancos are Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Eduardo Camavinga – who are all under the age of 22 and among the most highly-coveted stars in world football.

Even securing one of them would be a bonus in a year in which Covid-19 has turned the world on its head.

The coronavirus pandemic really has hit La Liga teams too and, across the city, Atletico Madrid are one of those affected by the current financial situation.

Los Rojiblancos are aware that they have to sell players in order to sign others, but they are not willing to simply gift away any of the members of their current squad. There are too many players who have departed for their liking in recent seasons, including defensive lynchpin Diego Godin and one-time fans’ favourite Antoine Griezmann last summer.

Juventus have reportedly joined Inter Milan in showing an interest in Atletico striker Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard has been linked with a reunion with manager Antonio Conte at Inter but the Nerazzurri may now face competition.

From Atletico to Athletic Club of Bilbao who could secure one of the deals of the transfer window with the return of Javi Martinez.

He is supposedly close to re-joining from newly-crowned European champions Bayern Munich.

Negotiations are currently ongoing between Bayern and La Liga side Athletic Bilbao for Javi Martinez

Javi Martinez poses with the Champions League trophy after Bayern Munich defeat Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon

The experienced midfielder has one year left in his contract and the Bavarians have decided to lower their demands and it’s reported they will sell him for less than 10 million euros.

Martinez, who has just turned 32, may also renounce a good part next year’s salary to facilitate his move – Munich signed him eight years ago from the Basque club in exchange for the 40m euros of his buyout clause.

Back to Barca who may have kept Messi but are saying goodbye to Luis Suarez who is reportedly looking to gain Italian citizenship ahead of a move to Juventus.

The striker has already agreed on personal terms with the Serie A giants as he nears the exit door at the Nou Camp.

Having an Italian passport will mean that Suarez won’t take up a foreign place in the Juventus squad.

His replacement? Well, reports continue to link them with a move for Lautaro Martinez from Inter, while Koeman may have an eye on his Dutch compatriot, Memphis Depay who has shone at Lyon in recent seasons.

One player who won’t be allowed to go out on loan again is Philippe Coutinho with Koeman keen to keep the Brazilian.

After he came back to haunt them with Bayern the last term, surely they would not be so foolish to let him go out on loan – and potentially play against them – again?

 

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