The 2010-2011 La Liga season just ended, but a lot of teams are already lining up new players for next season. Here is a look at some of the major transfers of the summer so far:
Following Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira’s arrivals last summer, Real Madrid have again foraged in the Bundesliga for talent, recruiting the Turkish midfield pair of Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altintop from Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively. While acquiring Sahin forced Los Blancos to dig deep in their pockets, coach Jose Mourinho will have appreciated the lack of up-front fees required to sign the out-of-contract Altintop, an experienced, versatile midfielder.
Sahin may well prove worthy of the investment, however, given his current status as player of the year in Germany. “I’m ready to make the jump to La Liga,” confirmed the 22-year-old playmaker. “Becoming a Real player is a dream come true, but that isn’t my goal. My goal is to be successful here,” he added confidently.
Los Blancos have also agreed terms with 24-year-old winger Jose Callejon, a former Madrid youth product who returns after playing over 100 matches for Espanyol.
Valencia have picked up France defender Adil Rami from Ligue 1 champions Lille, as well as Getafe midfielder Daniel Parejo. Goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya, meanwhile, has moved in the opposite direction, leaving Los Chés to sign for the Madrid-based side.
Two other players to bid farewell to Getafe are Uruguayan forward Juan Albin, who will perform for Espanyol next season, and fellow front-man Manu del Moral, who has moved south to ply his trade with Sevilla.
Just down the road from the city of Seville, ambitious Malaga have already made several forays in the transfer market, in line with their stated long-term aim of competing with Spain’s big guns. Los Boquerones have brought in Spain left-back Nacho Monreal from Osasuna, and will also be able to call on the services of skilful Argentinian Diego Buonanotte, signed in January from River Plate, then loaned back to the Buenos Aires club until the end of the Argentinian season.
But the best was yet to come for Malaga fans, in the shape of veteran Dutch goal machine Ruud van Nistelrooy, who will once again create havoc in Spanish defences just two years after leaving Real Madrid for Hamburg.