Athletic Bilbao: with Pep Guardiola on a series of yearly contracts, the Spanish media continues to speculate about possible replacements should the Barcelona manager choose to follow his muse out of town. One of the names mentioned by Guardiola himself is current Athletic coach Marcelo Bielsa. It would be a return of sorts to the Ciudad Condal, as Bielsa spent a few short months in 1998 in charge of RCD Espanyol. Bielsa refuses to speak about hypothetical situations, and Athletic would likely block any such move, but it does make an odd sense for both clubs.
Atletico de Madrid: Fernando Gago, lost in Luis Enrique’s AS Roma side on-loan from Real Madrid, is now being looked on by compatriot Diego Simeone. It’s an odd deal, Gago just hasn’t made his mark on European football, but if anyone could motivate the languid play of a player who was once-compared to Argentine legend Fernando Redondo would be EL Cholo.
Espanyol: goalkeeper Carlos Kameni, ignored in this week’s 4-2 win at Cornella-el Prat by coach Mauricio Pochettino despite injuries and suspensions to both of Espanyol’s top two keepers has finally landed the escape out of Barcelona. It’s a measure of how disliked Kameni was at the club that they released him on a free transfer. The Cameroonian international will spend the rest of the season at Malaga with the hopes of unsettling number one keeper Wily Caballero. It is also nice for Espanyol to have the luxury of a third keeper like Edgar Badia who won the UEFA championship as a starter for Spain’s U-19 squad.
Getafe: striker Adrian Colunga, who is from Asturias and came up in the Sporting de Gijón youth system, is no longer in coach Luis Garcia´s plans and might make an unexpected return to the club of his youth. It would definitely help the struggling rojiblancos.
Granada: Granada is one of those clubs that defies logic in transfer activity. They are affiliated with Udinese in Italy, they have a working relationship with Cadiz in Spain amongst others and they buy, and sell, loaning out players left and right. The chilean left-back Matías Campos and the Brasilian left-back Gabriel Silva were signed this week, but neither will play for Granada or Udinese. Campos will play on-loan in Chile at Universidad Católica while Silva will play at Granada with hopes to play at Udinese in the future. They still hope to sign Spanish central defender Borja Goméz from Ukranian side Karpaty Lviv and Senegalese forward Khaouma Babacar from Fiorentina.
Levante: forward Carlos Aranda has left for Real Zaragoza. The former Real Madrid youth teamer was waiting for a response from Hércules CF, but decided to take the offer from Zara, as President Agapito Iglesias resorts to rebuilding the squad despite their precarious situation
Malaga: Sheik Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani, owner of Malaga CF, has taken to twitter with the idea of involving Malaga fans in the decision making process. Contact Malaga with the hashtag #yoficharia (or I would sign) and the results are interesting. Malaga fans would like aplaymaking center-midfielder like Granero and a goalscorer like Diego Forlan or Berbatov.
Osasuna: why is Osasuna coach José Luís Mendílibar not getting more of a mention for coach of the year? Levante have been the story for most of the campaign, but Osasuna who were in clear danger last year before Mendílibar took over have changed their fortunes. Here they sit at fifth on the table before Round 19 in La Liga. It is an amazing story that few are talking about.
Rayo Vallecano: former teenage American phenom Freddy Adu, who trained with Rayo Vallecano recently is thinking seriously about spending the MLS break away with the working-class Madrid side.
Real Betis: Betis are looking very closely at Valencia´s Ricardo Costa, who rarely plays nowadays for Unai Emery´s side, and also Dani Parejo who is also on Emery´s bad side for Los Che. Under a similar situation with Manuel Pellegrini, Malaga´s midfielder Apoño is also looking to leave and Real Betis are one of the interested sides.
Racing Santander: needing some scoring punch, Racing have inquired about signing Sevilla Athletic´s prolific Japanese striker Hiroshi Ibusuki on-loan. With Kanouté ready to leave at the end of the year, Ibusuki looks to have clearance to land at the Sanchez-Pizjuan.
Real Mallorca: after being let go by Swiss side Neuchatel Xamax, Real Mallorca are one of the sides interested in signing 27 year old winger Javier Arizmendi.
Real Sociedad: while not likely to sign anyone of note, La Real are considering letting the Dutch midfielder Jeffrey Sarpong who has not featured in coach Philip Montanier´s plans. With a contract ending in 2013, Mallorca would like to get something from the sale of Sarpong before he gets to the last year of his contract.
Real Zaragoza: Carlos Aranda, ex-Levante will not be the only signing for Real Zaragoza in January. In a rather shady commingling of resources, President Agapito Iglesias, super-agent Jorge Mendes and the mysterious Doyen Group have come together to brainstorm a means to bring up to 10 new players for Real Zaragoza.
Sevilla: 22 year old Cordoba midfielder Javi Hervás has signed with los nervionenses and will join them at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season. Signing Mexican star Giovanni dos Santos from Tottenham is also a priority.
Sporting de Gijon: the unexpected entrance of Sporting de Gijón in the winter-market is remarkable. Not standing on just signing former youth-teamer Adrian Colunga this week, they are also looking seriously at signing ex-AS Roma right-back Marco Motta from Juventus.
Valencia: Ajax´s right back Gregory Van der Wiel has been in the plans for Unai Emery´s side for awhile, but the Dutch party-animal may be pushing away suitors like Valencia.
Villarreal: of the three clubs in Spain (Sevilla, Sporting and Villarreal), the Yellow Submarine might have the best chance at signing Mexican play-maker Gio dos Santos. There are clubs in England that are interested but Gio wants to return to Spain as he had a very successful run with Marcelino Garcia Toral´s Racing Santander. Marclino is now coaching Sevilla, but Villarreal might have a better chance at signing him.