Just two days before the first team return to training in preparation for the 2012/13 season and the summer continues with very little movement in the transfer market. Seydou Keita has moved on and we have signed Jordi Alba from Valencia but there still seems to be a need to buy a central defender. Athletic Club’s Javi Martinez appears to be our main target and I believe he would fit in perfectly at the club. However, negotiations are going to be complicated and we will have to pay a considerable amount to get him.
We were obviously not prepared to meet the asking price for Thiago Silva who has just joined Paris St. Germain along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a combined fee of €62 million. Presumably Silva makes up around €45 million of the deal which despite his undoubted class is one hell of a lot to spend on a defender. We’ll just have to wait and see how much Javi Martinez costs us if we end up signing him.
Whatever the case it would be a good idea to sort things out as quickly as possible. The transfer deadline is August 31 but the league season begins this season on August 18/19 (at home to Real Sociedad) and any new player will need time to adapt – much better if they can play in some of the preseason friendlies (Link to calendar). On the subject of the start of the league I have to say it seems the Spanish Federation have ballsed things up again. At least this season we will get three league games (not one like last season) before the highly unpopular international break at the start of September. However, I think it is a mistake to play the Supercopa after the league season has already started as it really should be the curtain-raiser to the new season.
Finally, a quick mention for two of our most promising youngsters, Gerard Deulofeu and Alejandro Grimaldo, who are both competing for the European under-19s championship with Spain. Deulofeu was the star of Spain semi-final victory over France, scoring twice in the 3-3 draw and also converting his penalty in the shoot-out. If you can find out where to watch the final against Greece tomorrow (Sunday 20.30h Spanish time), it should be worth watching.