Top 25 La Liga Players Likely to Be on the Move This Summer
With most European clubs waiting until the end of the World Cup to make their roster moves. An explosion of transfers is around the corner, and one of the most interesting leagues in the world will not an exemption.
Find out the 25 players most likely to switch jerseys in Spain.
Raúl Tamudo (Espanyol)
The Catalonian striker has spent a lifetime in Espanyol, becoming the top scorer in the history of the club, the team captain, and the most beloved employee of the team in decades.
With continuous arguments between him and the president of Espanyol, Raúl is very likely to leave after a year with next to no minutes.
Several La Liga teams already are drool over him, with Almeria the most interested one. A few Mexican teams have also shown interest.
Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia)
Starting at Real Madrid's youth system, being overlooked, and eventually making it with another club is something that could apply to about a third of La Liga players.
However, Mata's speed and skill with the ball makes this player the biggest regret for Los Blancos in years...even more so if after David Silva and David Villa's transfers from Valencia, Barcelona ends up signing him as well.
Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
This Brazilian striker has proven himself useful for Valladolid. Even though the modest club was not able to avoid relegation, Costa became the sole attacking force for Los Blanquivioletas.
Atletico Madrid has the rights of the player, but with Aguero and Forlán in shape, Costa will most likely find a new home where he can have more minutes.
Deportivo de La Coruña are very much in love with him.
Nino is one of those players who is vital for teams seeking promotion or avoiding relegation—"elevator teams", as they are called in Spain.
At age 30, the Andalusian is looking for his big break as his club goes back to the Second Division. Scoring 29 goals in the promotion year, and 14 goals in La Liga while surroundied with players less than capable than the likes of Kaka, Ronaldo and Messi is more than amazing.
Getafe put their eyes on Nino after he scored a hat-trick against them a couple of months ago, and Espanyol could use him to replace Tamudo.
Aritz Aduriz (Mallorca)
Even though Mallorca eventually made it to Europa League positions in La Liga, a team nearing bankruptcy and without even the coach who made it all happen— Gregorio Manzano—will be looking to sell.
Aduriz has proven to be consistent enough nearing his prime, scoring more than 10 goals for two consecutive seasons and being the top scorer with 12 in his club's brilliant campaign this past year.
Aritz is another player Getage could look to as a replacement for Soldado, on the move to Valencia after Villa's transfer to Barcelona.
Javi Venta (Villarreal/Free Agent)
The tale of this modest right back is nothing short of amazing.
From Villarreal's feeder team, Onda, to Tenerife, where Rafa Benitez had him as a key player in the side's promotion to La Liga, and finally to Villarreal, where he played over 300 games and was even appointed as the captain.
Even though Venta has already left the Amarillos, several Spanish teams are after him. Levante and Sporting Gijon are very interested in this very experienced defender.
Adrián Colunga (Recreativo de Huelva)
In his second year in La Liga—he first played with Recreativo and then was on a loan to Zaragoza—this versatile and fast striker scored nine goals. He accomplished this despite not starting, and scored against Real Madrid and twice against Barcelona in back-to-back weeks.
Adrián is looking for a Spanish team where he can be the key player, and clubs like Osasuna are willing to pay for him. At the same time, Zaragoza might just go and re-buy the striker, a few years after selling him to Recreativo.
Javi Martínez (Athletic Bilbao)
At only 21 years of age, Martinez is part of a team fighting at the World Cup with Spain, being the youngest player in La Roja.
After an amazing season in Bilbao, where he played so well he took Marcos Senna's place on the national side, Javi is being scouted by Real Madrid, Manchester United and, well, all of Europe right now.
Javi is very unlikely to stay in a team that will not even play in Europe next year.
This Cameroonian midfielder reminds me of Assunçao back when the Brazilian was on the Andalusian team, but with even more amazing strength and scoring capabilities.
Last year, Betis was relegated to Second Division, with Emana scoring 11 goals from the midfield; this season, even though the Andalusian team did not achieve promotion, the Cameroonian still managed 10 goals more.
Overall, an amazing player who will not stay at a Second tier much longer. Getafe sighs for him.
Raúl Gonzalez Blanco (Real Madrid)
The Spaniard is a legend in his club, his national side, and his country.
But with Mourinho wanting a change of pace in La Casa Blanca, the striker is not guaranteed a spot on the bench, never mind the starting XI.
Raul has already shown interest in playing abroad, with England and Italy being the most logical moves.
However, Gonzalez keeps saying he wants to try his luck in the States, and that New York City is his favorite place on Earth.
American Soccer could see the biggest thing since Pelé arrive this summer.
Jose María Guti (Real Madrid)
Along with Raúl, Guti is the player who has been in Madrid the longest.
But his magic touch is getting old, and certainly too old for Mourinho.
Several clubs in Europe want him, with Turkish side Besiktas and Spain's Malaga asking for a price to bring this midfield magician on board.
Diego López (Villarreal)
After a quite irregular season at Villarreal,Diego found himself out of Spain's World Cup roster for South Africa; but with people like Reina, Valdés and Casillas in front of him, no one can blame him.
He has had a couple of good years since he left Real Madrid looking for more playing time, and several English and Italian teams are already onto him.
Luis Fabiano (Sevilla)
A striker who averages one goal every two games in La Liga (61 in 124) is already someone to watch.
Someone who clinches six domestic and European titles in five years on a team not so used to winning like Sevilla has a lot more merit.
If the player in particular is Brazilian and happens to start for his national team in South Africa (scoring like there is no tomorrow), than he is meant to be wanted for the big teams every summer.
Luis Fabiano has had a love-hate relationship with Sevilla and its fans. With clubs like Olympique Marseilla wiling to pay, the Carioca striker could take a flight from Africa to another European country, with no stop in Andalusia.
Yayá Touré (Barcelona)
The Ivory Coast defensive midfielder has won it all in Barcelona and has been key for the Catalonian team. but Guardiola is still not in favor of him, giving Busquets the starting position more often than not.
England seems to be his most immediate future, with Manchester City (surprise) wanting to bid hard for him.
Luis Filipe (Deportivo A Coruña)
A gruesome leg injury in the middle of the season left Deportivo without arguably his best player, and the Brazilian without a chance to play in South Africa.
With the player near recuperation, several European teams are trying for the skilled left back to put on their club shirt.
Recent Europa League champions Atletico Madrid are willing to offer 15 Million Euro for a player that just broke a leg and spent six months without touching a ball. That should say enough about the quality of this Filipe.
Marcos Senna (Villarreal)
Marcos went from starting with Spain to suffering several small, annoying injuries and a lack of rhythm that left him without playing more games in Villarreal. In fact, Senna being called by Del Bosque for the World Cup, with Busquets taking his place.
At age 33, a couple of European teams are interested in him, but the money could be elsewhere. Qatar wants to bring yet another dying star to its league, and could pay handsomely for it.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Barcelona)
The Swedish striker had a roller-coaster season.
He was signed by Barcelona, who paid the highest amount the club ever spent for a player (plus giving up Samuel Eto'o) and had a strong start to the season. But he had an awful second half of the year, was ignored by his team's own fans, and lost his place to young Bojan.
At the same time, his national side did not qualify for the World Cup—a major disappointment for a player used to the big stages.
With David Villa already signed, rumors of Fernando Torres maybe joining as well, and Bojan and Pedro growing more and more every day, the striker might not want to stick around another season—if he wants to start, that is.
Kalu Uche (Almería)
Kalu Uche has surpassed his brother Ikechukwu as the most talented of the duo.
Even though he started slow in his career, eight and nine goals with Almeria in the past two years, as well as a decent performance at the World Cup with Nigeria, have seen Fulham, Hull City and Fenerbahce become interested in his services.
The Andalusian team can do little to retain a growing player who will want to play more important games at age 28.
It's now or never for Uche.
Thierry Henry (Barcelona)
The Frenchman is supposed to leave Barcelona next summer, but with the Culés already having the amazing David Villa to play in the left attacking position, Henry is at the moment trying to negotiate a friendly end to the remaining year on his contract.
France will welcome him with open arms, that's a given; however, the most recent Hand of God might just go to the States for a couple of years before he semi-retires in his home country.
New York dreams of having him in its new stadium, and Henry dreams of keeping his amazingly high salary in the Major League Soccer.
Sergio Asenjo (Atletico Madrid)
Pinned as one of the best young goalkeepers of his generation, Atletico paid well to have a decent goalkeeper on their side for the first team in a long time.
The "English Goalkeeper Effect" took over, and the former Valladolid man kept proving everybody wrong, alternating amazing mistakes with just plain poor games.
Asenjo has not played since October, and with the even younger De Gea on the rise he might want to find a new challenge, most likely outside of the country.
English and Portuguese teams are following closely.
Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal)
After being dropped from the Italian side at the last minute before the start of the World Cup, Rossi went back to Villarreal, and as usual, rumors started to roll.
The striker, who came from Juventus for pocket change in a deal very similar to what the Spanish club paid for Diego Forlán, is now being called to eventually move to a bigger team.
Real Madrid and Atletico have approached him, and back in Italy he is considered a possible replacement for Del Piero in Juventos or Totti at Roma.
Whatever the outcome, Villarreal is sure to make a near 100 percent profit from yet another talented striker, just like with Forlán.
Iker Muniaín (Athletic Bilbao)
A hidden gem for Athletic, Muniain has already participated in 30 games and scored four times at age 17. The amazing technique this striker possesses is only starting to call the attention of the rest of Europe.
Manchester City is already drooling over him, but Athletic is known for not selling easily, due to its policy of having only people from the province.
But Muniain could easily be a star for a much bigger team, as well as for Spain, in a matter of years.
Roberto Canella (Sporting Gijón)
This young left back has already played over 50 games in La Liga at age 21 (all with Sporting) and has been a key reason why the Asturianos are still in the First Division when most of the country had them relegated.
Even though Canella has a signing fee of 20 Million Euro, Sporting will be more than willing to negotiate for less than half of it.
Everton wants to bring him in to join forces with Mikel Arteta in the Premier League.
Pedro León (Getafe)
Pedro León is one of those players that keeps jumping teams every year, and every jump seems to come with an increase in quality as well.
At age 23, the midfielder has already shown incredible skill with the ball when it comes to dribbling and passing; he is also good at free kicks, and is coming off of his best season yet, with eight goals at Getafe.
Italian side AC Milan has already shown interest in him.
Rafael Van Der Vaart (Real Madrid)
For a player who kept Real Madrid in the title fight when they needed it the most—with crucial goals in the second half of the season—Los Blancos are being especially vague about the future of the dutch.
Mourinho has said Rafael is a very talented player, but that might not be enough for the midfielder. Just like Robben and Sneijder, who only came back to Madrid to play the Champions League final (oh, the irony), Van der Vaart will most likely end up in England, Germany, or Italy.
Sampdoria has been the last team to join in on the interest for the playmaker.