Another week, another seven days of deals, rumours and gossip. The Champions League final may have only been a couple of weeks ago, signalling the end of the domestic season, but LaLiga’s clubs have already been working away to try and mould their squads ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
Here’s the pick of the reports from around Spain…
Morata to Manchester?
Following up from an expensive deal to sign Benfica central defender Victor Lindelof, Manchester United are touted to be the latest destination for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata. English newspaper The Telegraph broke a story this week to suggest that Jose Mourinho wants the Spaniard to lead the line at Old Trafford, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s release officially confirmed.
€70 million is the price tag that has been slapped on the 24-year-old, a considerable step up from the €30 million which Los Blancos paid Juventus to bring their home-grown striker back to the Spanish capital last summer. 15 La Liga goals was a reasonable return, as Morata acted as an important player in Zinedine Zidane’s second string, but regular football is required for him to target a World Cup place with Spain in 2018.
Simeone’s prodigal son
In the aftermath of Spain’s friendly against Colombia on Wednesday, Diego Costa chose to be rather outspoken about his future as a Chelsea player. Earlier in the year, the Spain international admitted that he would be open to a move to Atletico Madrid, with the 28-year-old now revealing that Antonio Conte doesn’t have a place for him in his plans moving forward.
Atleti are unable to register any new players until January, owing to a transfer ban given to them by TAS recently, but Diego Costa may take the gamble of waiting it out for six months in order to be back in a squad where he feels valued. Last season proved that he can be decisive in a title race, and Antoine Griezmann needs another strike partner to help beef up Los Colchoneros’ attacking options.
Seville sighting for Nolito
Nolito was spotted having a casual meeting in Seville this week, alongside Sevilla’s sporting director Oscar Arias, in what the player explained to be a chance encounter.
After admitting that he has had a tough time adjusting to life in England with Manchester City, immediate links have been drawn with relation to a return to LaLiga. While Celta Vigo may struggle financially to bring the Spaniard home, his ex-coach Eduardo Berizzo will have no such issue at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Best of the rest
– Sevilla wide man Vitolo has been linked with a move to Atletico this week, with the Spaniard rumoured to potentially be loaned out to Las Palmas until January in order to sidestep the TAS ruling. The club’s president, Miguel Angel Ramirez, announced this week that their key winger won’t be leaving for anything under his 40 million euro release clause.
– Alaves’ first-choice right back Kiko Femenia left the club on a free transfer, after his contract ran out this month, while Real Sociedad left-back Hector joined the Basque side on a season-long loan deal. Long-term servant Raul Garcia took the leap to join Leganes as a back-up left back behind Diego Rico.
– Celta Vigo are interested in snapping up Jozabed on a permanent contract from Fulham after the ex-Rayo Vallecano midfielder impressed on his loan deal last season - but they can’t afford the clause stipulated to them by the English Championship club.
– Eibar defender Antonio Luna has left the club on a free, opting to sign for newly promoted Levante ahead of the new campaign. The Basque minnows could also lose key centre-back Florian Lejeune too, whose minimum fee release clause looks to be a very realistic target for Newcastle United to hit. Los Armeros, according to Cadena SER, should sign Alcorcon midfielder Ivan Alejo next week, in a rare bit of good news for Jose Luis Mendilibar.
– Valencia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan is set to swap Spain for Brighton and Hove Albion, as Marcelino tries to stage a clear-out to fund some signings of his own, while Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina has said “we will see” to a potential switch to Mestalla from the Champions League runners-up.
– Real Sociedad have slapped another huge release clause on one of their biggest young hopes, Alvaro Odriozola, who is rumoured to have a hefty 50 million euro release clause on his head. His new contract, which was announced on Saturday, runs until 2022. Diego Llorente could soon join him at Anoeta, with the Real Madrid-owned centre-back deemed surplus to requirements.