By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
Time is running out. La Liga clubs have just over two weeks to strengthen their squads for the coming campaign, but with the new season set to start this weekend, many will be kicking off with what they have already.
Movement has been sluggish in crisis-hit Spain as more players have been sold than brought in – and many more could be on the move before the end of the transfer window later this month.
Here, Goal.com looks at the Liga stars who could be on the move before the transfer window slams shut at the end of August.
Adriano has been a loyal servant to Barcelona and remains a useful utility player at the Catalan club, but following the arrival of Jordi Alba earlier this summer, his place looks under threat.
The Brazilian seems surplus to requirements at Camp Nou and with Tito Vilanova keen to raise funds for another big-name signing ahead of the coming campaign, the former Sevilla man may be on the move.
Adriano has been linked with a move to Juventus in Serie A and also with a return to Brazil with Flamengo, but his future remains uncertain with only a little over two weeks before the closure of the transfer window.
Barca, though, will hope they can shift the versatile defender in order to raise funds for a big signing in the next week or two.
Malaga have already sold Santi Cazorla this summer and the Andalusian club are now in danger of losing their second-biggest star from 2011-12, Isco.
The young attacking midfielder was a sensation for his hometown club last term after joining from Valencia, but with uncertainty over payment of players and financial stability at La Rosaleda, Isco may be allowed to leave.
A host of top clubs have been linked to the 20-year-old, who is able to play in midfield or in a forward role. Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as Barcelona and Real Madrid, are all keeping a close eye on the young Spaniard, but Malaga remain keen to hang on to their prodigy. Only time will tell whether or not they can do so.
Jonathan could have been celebrating an Olympic gold medal with Mexico right now, but the midfielder chose to stay behind at Barcelona this summer instead of linking up with his national side and, unfortunately for him, it does not seem to have done him much good.
The midfielder, younger brother of Tottenham’s Giovani dos Santos, has been linked with a move away from the Catalan club – either on loan or in a permanent deal – after making just five first-team appearances last term.
Although no official bid has been made, Sevilla are interested in signing Jonathan in a deal which could be worth up to €5 million. And with Vilanova claiming Ibrahim Afellay will stay at Barca for now, the Catalans will have to raise money elsewhere. Jonathan is one of their options.
Kaka wants to stay at Real Madrid and most Madridistas want him to stay, too. But the Brazilian is past his best and has never quite lived up to expectations at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite a series of positive performances in 2011-12.
When it really mattered, Kaka found himself out of the side and Jose Mourinho has admitted this summer that the €65m man can leave.
AC Milan would love to bring back their former hero, but have admitted that such a deal seems ‘impossible’ at this stage. The cost-cutting Rossoneri will only be able to complete a return if Madrid agree to loan them Kaka, and the Brazilian significantly cuts his €10m a year wages.
However, with over two weeks left to negotiate a possible transfer, the two teams may yet reach an agreement. Expect this one to go right down to the wire.
Fernando Llorente has long been linked with a move away from Athletic Bilbao but, up until now, he has not appeared interested in a San Mames departure.
Now, however, he has reportedly refused to sign a new contract and with his deal set to expire in 2013, Athletic would have to cash in on their star striker or risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
Several Premier League sides have shown interest in Llorente over the last few seasons, with Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal all associated with the Spain star, but Juventus are also in the market for a top striker and are favourites for his signature having tabled a €16m bid.
Javi Martinez is back in training with Athletic Bilbao after the joy of Euro 2012 and the disappointment of the Olympics with Spain.
However, the versatile midfielder’s future remains uncertain. The 23-year-old has been linked with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City this summer, among others, although prospective buyers appear to have been put off by his restrictive buy-out clause of €40m.
One of the player’s agents this week claimed he would be keen to join Bayern, but Martinez himself has distanced himself from a move away from San Mames and posed contentedly with the club’s fans this summer.
He has expressed his admiration for Barcelona, however, and remains top of the Catalans’ shopping list. Whether they will pay the asking price, though, is another matter.
Nuri Sahin was used sparingly by coach Jose Mourinho last term at Real Madrid, even after he had recovered from injury.
The Turkey midfielder is keen to make it work at the Santiago Bernabeu, but may not get the chance as his club look to shift him out this summer – at least on loan.
Sahin’s former club, Borussia Dortmund, have ruled out a move for the 23-year-old, but several Premier League sides – including Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United – could also be interested in a move, either permanent or temporary.
In Spain, Valencia have also been associated with the midfielder who, one way or the other, appears to be on his way out of the Bernabeu.
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