This week in LaLiga: Barcelona, Granada, Valencia, Real Madrid

With LaLiga Santander clubs currently in off-season mode, important work is going on around Spain as teams begin preparing for next season. Some have been signing new players, some have been filling other important roles and one club even launched a new badge.

Valencia hire Javi Gracia

Javi Gracia is back in LaLiga Santander. The former Osasuna and Málaga coach returns to Spanish football with Valencia, taking over at Mestalla on a two-year deal, after spells in Russia with Rubin Kazan and in England with Watford.

Mendilibar staying put at Eibar

Eibar announced this week that coach Jose Luis Mendilibar has renewed his contract at Ipurua for another season. This will be Mendilibar’s sixth season at the Basque club, who is now, after Atlético de Madrid’s Diego Simeone, the second-longest serving LaLiga Santander coach.

De Blasis departs after his amazing gesture

Mendilibar is staying on, but Argentine Pablo de Blasis won’t be staying at Eibar next season after two years with the club. He leaves on a high. Having agreed to briefly extend his contract past its June 30th expiry date in order to complete the 2019/20 campaign, De Blasis donated the extra salary he received during those additional weeks to backroom staff at the club.

Alaves’ new look

2021 will be a special year for Alavés, with the Basque club celebrating their centenary. Having ensured they’ll be spending it in Spain’s top flight by avoiding relegation, they’ve now unveiled a new and more modern look as they prepare for this special celebration by releasing an updated club badge and a stylish 2020/21 kit.

Raul Carnero extends his stay

Real Valladolid have signed Raul Carnero to a permanent deal, until 2023. The left-back moved to the Jose Zorrilla on loan from Getafe in January and performed well in white and violet during the second half of the campaign, so much so that they decided to bring him in permanently.

Levante turn to Real Madrid in the transfer market

Levante have already signed four new players for the upcoming campaign. After last week’s moves to bring in Mickael Malsa and Son from Mirandes and Ponferradina, this week they’ve turned to Real Madrid to sign winger Jorge de Frutos and striker Dani Gómez.

Real Betis present Antonio Cordon

Antonio Cordon has been hired by Real Betis as their new sporting director, returning to LaLiga where he previously enjoyed so much success at Villarreal. He has reunited with former Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini at Betis, with a clear mandate to “reawaken a giant.” First up on Cordón’s list of objectives: European qualification.

Granada’s first signing of the summer
Luis Milla has become Granada’s first new signing of the summer, moving to the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes from LaLiga SmartBankTenerife. The 25-year-old midfielder had just enjoyed the best season of his career, scoring eight goals and assisting six more for Tenerife in the Spanish second tier.

Spanish teams prepare for the return of UEFA competition

Now that the 2019/20 LaLiga Santander campaign is in the books, the Spanish clubs still involved in UEFA competitions have been turning their attention to the return of the Champions League and Europa League. Barcelona and Real Madrid have Champions League last 16 second legs against Napoli and Manchester City respectively (Atleti are already into the quarter-finals), while Sevilla will face Roma and Getafe will play Inter Milan in the Europa League this coming week.

Atletico Madrid’s new museum
Atletico Madrid are putting the finishing touches to their new club museum, which will open at the Wanda Metropolitano on August 8th. Following the club’s move from the Vicente Calderón in 2017, work has been going on in the background on this new and interactive museum, which is called Atleti Territory.

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