Inside Spain is a weekly instalment brought to you by Football España, providing an insight into all of the major stories coming out of the rich and intense climes of La Liga and beyond.
Joao Felix had the last laugh. In the battle between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona on Sunday night, Diego Simeone looked a little sick as the Portuguese chipped the winner over Jan Oblak, as did former Barcelona players Antoine Griezmann and Memphis Depay. The amusing thing is that Felix in theory is still and Atletico player.
The battle between the two clubs to negotiate for him is an intriguing one, with both aroud €40m apart on his valuation. It may end up in a situation like that of Griezmann previously where the player only wants to be in one place, and the only answer is a loan.
As it transpires, Atletico made around €106m profit for selling Griezmann to Barcelona for two seasons. €10m of that was due to the fact they threatened to release Barcelona’s emails to Griezmann in the lead up to a deal.
It also has consequences for Xavi Hernandez, who after beating Porto and Atletico has credit again – defeats would have had his job in serious jeopardy. Back-up goalkeeper Inaki Pena is also flavour of the month following several excellent saves. He will be the flavour for several months more too, after Marc-Andre ter Stegen agreed to back surgery keeping him out until February.
— Football España (@footballespana_) December 6, 2023
Real Madrid’s transfer strategy has been conservative of late, but they will go big this summer. There is some suggestion that various members of the board would prefer Erling Haaland to Kylian Mbappe – something Haaland is open to. They contine to cruise on at the top of the table, still joined by Girona. That said, Michel Sanchez must take his side to Barcelona this weekend.
— Football España (@footballespana_) December 7, 2023
Former Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez remains in the relegation zone with just one win from 15 games at Celta Vigo. He has equalled their worst ever home run, but is not in danger of being sacked – Celta cannot afford it.
Yet that is nothing compared to the crisis at Sevilla. Not only is manager Diego Alonso still without a league or Champions League win after 10 games, and without 10 players, but the shareholders meeting on Monday was civil war. Presidential challenger Jose Maria del Nido called Vice-President and son ‘a s***’, as they battle for control of the club.