With the futbol void soon to be filled by Euro 2008 I thought it was time to round up all of the altas y bajas at the Camp Nou. Let's start with today's news that Giovani Dos Santos has left the club for Tottenham for a fee of €6 million with a further €5 million appearance-related. I'm a little sad to see him go but looking at it purely objectively, he just wasn't quite good enough. Though quick and unselfish in his forward play he's very lightweight (something that I think will prove problematic for him in the Premiership) and he frequently makes the wrong choices, plays the wrong ball, gets caught in possession and generally out-muscled. How he'll do at Spurs, who already sport the sprightly yet useless Arron Lennon and Croat Fancy Dan Luka Modric I don't know but I wouldn't expect him to set the world alight. Ultimately I think this is the right decision.
Also packing his Louis Vuittons is Gianluca Zambrotta, who's signed for AC Milan. No word on a fee or even the length of contract he's signed at the San Siro. Like I've mentioned before, Milan have long been after Zambrotta and his preference upon leaving Juve was to join them so this is a move that's been coming a while. Though he never quite played up the the impossibly high standards he set himself at Juventus, he performed pretty well, playing eighty-one games in total for the club. I guess it was just unfortunate on his part that he signed when the club were on the slide and his own form was affected by that. I wish him well.
His partner in crime from the La Vecchia Signora, Lillian Thuram, will be leaving the club too, with is contract expiring at the end of the month. PSG are reportedly interested.
Speaking of PSG, they could also soon be fielding former Barça winger Ludovic Giuly after he announced this week that he was looking to leave AS Roma. Despite not being a regular with the Giallorossi he had a fine season and I'm rather surprised to hear he's going back to France.
It's not all sell, sell, sell at Mes que un club though. Uruguayan centre-back Martín Cáceres, Steven Segal-a-like reserve golkeeper Jose Pinto and new coach Pep Guardiola have all put pen to paper this week. Cáceres, 21, has come from Villarreal, though he spent last season on loan at Recre, where he was excellent in side that really struggled, finishing sixteenth having scaled the dizzy heights of eighth in the 06/07 campaign. He's signed a four-year deal. Pinto, who rather incredibly won the Zamora playing for Celta a few years back, is fairly awful and ideally he'll never see action outside of Catalan Cup games. Pep you know all about :)
Finally it seems that I'm not the only one who thinks Oriel Giralt should just fuck off. Joan Gaspart, former president and long-time vice-president to Josep Lluís Núñez is of the same mind. It's a rare thing indeed for me to agree with anything that comes out of that fools' mouth but there you go.