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turan-barcelonaSpending by Spain’s top clubs on new signings rises for third consecutive year, led by Valencia and Atlético Madrid, broke the historical record set in 2007 of 541 million euros. This summer, the 20 clubs of Primera have splashed 558.3 million euros on new players, 86.6 million more than last year. One of the reasons for the huge outlay is the amount of money received by the top flight in transfer fees of 401.2 million euros.

What made this such an unusual transfer market, and one that should make La Liga really competitive this season is that it was not Real Madrid and Barcelona who were the big spenders this year but Valencia and Atlético.

EdWoodwardManchester United current executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has responded to Real Madrid’s 10-point plan of why they should not be blamed for de Gea debacle. It is extremely rare to see two of the biggest clubs in the world is this sort of public squabble, but the story has been all summer that Woodward felt like Real Madrid were trying to push United around and he was not going to take it.

As the official Man United statement reads, United will not accept one bit of blame for the de Gea debacle. Makes you wonder how the conversation will go when Woodward calls them next summer for Gareth Bale!

marca-de-geaReal Madrid president Florentino Pérez is getting hammered in the Spanish media for screwing up the David de Gea transfer and has responded with a 10 point PR statement where he tries and lays the blame for the del fallen apart at the feet of Manchester United.

The Real Madrid statement, released on Tuesday said:

However, the transfer never went through and Madrid have now issued a statement claiming that they did everything possible to make it happen.

“After the events of yesterday [Monday] in relation to the alleged hiring of David de Gea player, Real Madrid wishes to state:

DDG2You cannot make this up. David de Gea will be staying at Old Trafford after the signed contracts from Manchester arrived at the LP headquarters one minute too late and the deal is off!! Start the conspiracy theories on why United sent the contracts in late!

Earlier today everything seemed to be in place for de Gea to make his long-expected move to Real Madrid. United and Madrid had agreed on a deal where Madrid would send United £29 million (39.6m) plus goalkeeper Keylor Navas for the Spanish keeper.

degeavnavasHe has been heavily criticized for Manchester United’s lack of recent transfer activity but Ed Woodward earned his stripes Monday with the David de Gea deal. United have sold de Gea to Real Madrid for £29 million (39.6m) plus goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

The deal makes all parties happy. De Gea and his agent get the big money move they have been agitating for all summer, and Madrid get the goalkeeper they wanted after pushing Iker Casillas out of the door earlier this summer.

Rafa-Real-Madrid1Real Madrid will be looking to put a disappointing start to Rafael Benitez’s reign in charge behind them when Real Betis visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Benitez’s men could only manage a 0-0 draw away to newly promoted Sporting Gijon to start their league campaign last weekend, which already leaves them trailing Barcelona and Atletico Madrid by two points. A good start was seen as key to Madrid’s bid to win just a second La Liga title in eight years with Barcelona and Atletico facing on paper a much harder start to the campaign.

europa-league-drawVillarreal and Athletic Bilbao have both been dealt favourable hands in the Europa League group stage following Friday’s draw in Monaco.

The Yellow Submarine have been paired with Viktoria Plzen, Rapid Vienna and Dinamo Minsk in Group E, while Los Leones will face AZ, Augsburg and Partizan Belgrade in Group L.

As La Liga’s two representatives were among the top seeds, they avoided the likes of Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax, Sporting CP and Michel’s new club Marseille.

Spain_national_football_team_Euro_2012_trophy_03Couple of surprises in Vicente del Bosque’s latest Spain squad for the Euro qualifiers against Slovakia (September 5 in Oviedo) and Macedonia (September 8) for Euro 2016.

Del Bosque recalled Diego Costa and Juan Mata while Azpilicueta is also back in, as Morata is left out despite being called to the previous squad. Neither Aleix Vidal, who can’t play for Barça this year, nor Nolito or San José have been included.

In a new trend, 10 of the twenty-three now play outside the Spanish Liga.

Fernando-LlorenteSevilla have confirmed the signing of striker Fernando Llorente on a free transfer from Juventus.

“Sevilla FC have signed Fernando Llorente on Thursday, who arrives in Nervion as a free agent after having reached an agreement for the recision of his contract with Juventus,” read a statement from the UEFA Europa League holders. “The Spanish international striker will be tied to the club for the next three seasons and has a 20 million euro buyout clause.”

pique-fcbBarcelona defender Gerard Pique will miss his side’s trip to Atletico Madrid next month after his appeal against a four-game ban was dismissed.

Pique was shown a straight red card for verbally abusing the linesman as Barça lost the Spanish Super Cup 5-1 on aggregate to Athletic Bilbao last week.

Competition Committee judge Francisco Rubio handed down the ban to the Barça defender on 19th August, after Velasco Carballo sent him off with a direct red card in the 55th minute of the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Athletic Bilbao, as reflected in the referee’s match report, for screaming “you f****** son of a bitch” in the linesman’s face when the latter didn’t give Aritz Aduriz offside.