We are only four days into the start of the new season, and the La Liga recruitment guys and money men are still up to their noses in work. Every head coach wants to be sure he has the best chance of success in the coming campaign and getting the right personnel in is the key.
La Liga 2020 winners Real Madrid have been pursuing a policy of signing young players to loan out in recent seasons, with the notable exception of the capture of Eden Hazard in 2019.
And with young talents Brahim Diaz, Dani Ceballos and Jesus Vallejo gaining experience in Europe’s top leagues the future looks bright for the champions. But does head coach Zinedine Zidane have enough in the current squad to retain the title?
Time will tell, but it is Groundhog Day at the Santiago Bernabeu as unsettled Welsh winger Gareth Bale dominates the news yet again with another expected departure.
Throughout the 2019 transfer window Bale looked set to head for China but the deal fell through at the 11th hour and so Bale stayed put. He only made 16 appearances for Los Blancos in the successful 2019/20 league campaign and was left out of the ZZ’s Champions League squad.
Premier League giants Manchester United have expressed a keen interest, having failed, so far, to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
But recent reports in the UK press suggest Bale’s old club Spurs have jumped to the front of the queue, and his advisors are talking to Tottenham about a potential loan move. It is believed Bale would favour a move the Spurs where he enjoyed a happy six seasons between 2007 and 2013.
And much to the annoyance of Manchester United, the North London club is also in talks with Los Blancos over a move for left-back Sergio Reguilon.
Barca rebuild yet to gather pace
Once Leo Messi made his decision to stay at Barcelona, new head coach Ronald Koeman could turn his attention elsewhere. The Dutch master is trying to move striker Luis Suarez on, and the Uruguayan is deciding between nine times Scudetto winners Juventus and La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid for his last big move.
The Blaugrana will look to bring in more firepower once that deal is done, and the rumour of Netherlands striker Memphis Depay coming to the Camp Nou won’t go away. He had a superb season with Lyon, scoring 15 goals in 22 appearances for the Ligue 1 side and reports suggest a 30m Euro deal is edging closer.
Another whisper in Catalonia suggests Barca are still working on a deal to bring Gini Wijnaldum from Liverpool to the Camp Nou, but that one still has some way to go.
Koeman is under quite some pressure to succeed but the early La Liga 2020 betting odds here at SBOTOP suggest that it could be a struggle, with the Blaugrana out at odds of 2.60, while Los Blancos start as strong favourites at 1.65.
Once the early La Liga 2020 results are in, we’ll know just how difficult a task Koeman has, but he needs to get some bodies in.
The same could be said over at the Mestalla where Valencia have been pursuing Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue after the Hornets were relegated from the Premier League.
Head coach Javi Gracia is an admirer of the 32-year-old Frenchman and he has already made an approach to bring him in on loan, but the cash strapped London club are looking to sell Capoue on a permanent deal. He played in 180 Premier League fixtures over five seasons with the Hornets and he would be a good addition at the Mestalla.
Gracia needs reinforcements quickly after young winger Ferran Torres joined Manchester City, and Francis Coquelin, Dani Parejo and Rodrigo Moreno have also packed their bags.
Despite starting the season with a squad ravaged by outgoings and injuries Los Che won the Valencia derby on the opening day of the campaign, beating Levante 4-2, but it’s a long haul and their squad needs depth.
One player who has already switched from England to La Liga is Newcastle United defender Florian Lejeune, who has moved to Alaves on a season-long loan after falling out of favour at St. James’ Park.
The centre-back was a regular starter under Rafa Benitez but has struggled to make an impression since the arrival of Steve Bruce, making just six appearances for the Magpies, who avoided relegation quite comfortably.
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