La Liga Review's daily look at what the Spanish football papers are making up: There's plenty of transfer gossip as, apparently, Real Madrid and Chelsea are 'At War' over Huntelaar, Barcelona have an agreement with Dani Alves and poor old Schuster just needs a cuddle...
With no Champions League football for AS and Marca to worry about this week, the Madrid sports papers entertain their readers with tales of potential Real Madrid signings.
Marca leads with the same front page story as yesterday: that the Real Madrid sporting director was in Rome on Tuesday to make formal enquiries regarding the availability of Roma's Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Aquilani.
The paper is patting itself on the back for breaking the exclusive in yesterday's edition and today's front page brings us the Madrid sporting director's 'confirmation' of the deal, according to Marca anyway. The paper writes: "Mijatovic corroborated the story, when he was asked by a reporter 'were you in Rome yesterday?' and the director replied, laughing, 'yes, I was in Rome.' He said nothing else as he got in to his chauffeur driven car." Well that settles that then.
There is a club from Madrid involved in European action this week. However, as Getafe have neither of the words 'Real' or 'Madrid' in their name, they only merit a the briefest mention on Marca's front page ahead of their UEFA cup tie against Bayern Munich this evening (Bayern -Getafe Preview here). Michael Laudrup is quoted as saying "Bayern are not the favourites."
Marca also takes some time out to savour the 'crisis at Barcelona'. Lionel Messi returned to Spain yesterday, after undergoing treatment on his thigh injury in Argentina, and the player was quick to spring to the defence of his mate Ronaldinho. There is a rumour that Ronnie also returned to training yesterday and, allegedly, did some running about. Messi said : "I've been following events from Argentina and I don't understand how everyone can criticise a player who has given so much to Barcelona. It shows a lack of respect. He's still the best in the world."
Madrid's other favourite football comic, AS, also leads with a healthy dollop of transfer speculation. According to AS: "Huntelaar is the primary target for next season, but Real Madrid face competition from Chelsea for the Ajax number nine."
The paper is confident, however, that Schuster's side holds the upper hand because the player, who carries a price tag of 35 million euros, feels that the Spanish football "is incredibly offensive." Don't worry, we checked: Huntelaar was definitely talking about La Liga and not Schuster.
Speaking of the German bundle of joy: Schuster is also quoted in AS today, as saying: "I am aware that maybe I do need to improve my image." La Liga Review was particularly moved by Schuster's revelation that "I may come across as some sort of angry ogre, but sometimes I just need someone to put an arm around me after a defeat."
The Barcelona press are also busy planning ahead for next season and SPORT claims that Barcelona have a pre-contract agreement with Sevilla's Dani Alves. According to the paper: "The wishes of both Alves and FC Barcelona are now very clear, and now the only thing that stands in the way of the Brazilian joining Barça this summer is Sevilla. It must be remembered that Del Nido refused to listen to offers for the player from both Real Madrid and Chelsea last summer."
However, according to SPORT, Alves has a contractual buy out clause of 40 million euros, and with Barcelona having allocated over a hundred million for rebuilding the squad in the summer, a deal can be done for the player.
Cesc Fabregas also get s a mention in SPORT after the player's former agent claimed yesterday that there existed a contractual clause that gave Barcelona first refusal, should he decide to leave Arsenal. However, SPORT insists that Barcelona really aren't that bothered about a player in whom, the club feels, they have "already invested too much time and money" and who decided to abandon them for the bright lights of London.
SPORT is also convinced that FC Barcelona have decided that Pep Guardiola will replace Frank Rijkaard as coach of the club in the summer, in spite of the clubs official denial issued late last night. It is clear that the paper isn't really sure, and because they didn't break the story (Catalan television did), they aren't making too much noise about it.
Its is the same with Barcelona's other Football paper, El Mundo Deportivo, who also believe that Guardiola will be taking over at the club in the summer. However, MD leads with it's favourite topic at the moment: Bojan Krkic.
MD reveals that the players contract is not on a 'first team' contract and that the club are busy working a on a deal that the player will be able to sign when he turns 18 in August. The player, who was promoted to the first team his season, has just two years remaining on a contract that was signed when he was 16 years old. As Spanish law dictates, that contract is not as binding as a full professional contract that the player will be able to sign in August and that until he does, the club is vulnerable to a swoop from another club.
However, MD claims that Barcelona are confident that Bojan is not interested in leaving the club, having already flatly turned down Chelsea in the past, and that the player is eager to secure his long term future at Barça as soon as possible.