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Madrid, Barça, Atleti and the winter market

Mexicans call this time of the year in the game, ‘football by the stove’, a reference to the cold of winter and the opening of the transfer window. The month of January is always something of a yardstick and a moment of reflection for football clubs to analyse their season progress. Certain clubs see it as an opportunity to address poor planning or a golden occasion to bring in reinforcements to cover long term injuries. It's worth nothing though, that all transfer movements are overseen by LaLiga, which now ensures a control to the wild and on occasion, reckless spending of the past. Now clubs are forced to work within the parameters of income, spending and debt management.

Paris St Germain's Adrien Rabiot
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Paris St Germain's Adrien RabiotBENOIT TESSIERREUTERS


In recent years the only exception to fall under the LaLiga radar has been second division side Reus with their ongoing financial disaster causing much embarrassment to all involved in the game. I'm not sure of the finer details that have driven the situation at the Catalan club but it does reflects poorly on the upper echelons of Spanish football and it does reinforce the need for LaLiga to govern with even more detail the comings and goings at each club over the current transfer window ensuring that rules involving salary caps are adhered to. That's not to say that clubs can't make acquisitions, but they need to do so by offloading players and ensuring that they work withing their respective remits and limits. Clubs in Spain are now working well within the new regulations but there is always room for improvement.

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Financial stability

This includes the "big three" of Spanish football. Barça have brought in Murillo to cover their defensive issues and have sights set on PSG's Rabiot. Munir, Denis and Malcom are the three players the Catalan club seems prepared to offload in return. Real Madrid are in desperate need of a striker and could we really see a January departure for Isco? Atleti are fighting tooth and nail to retain Lucas with Bayern Munich the interested party. They also have an issue in front of goal with Diego Costa going through one of the most fallow periods of his career. These three and the rest of LaLiga sides are now subject to rigorous financial controls that are in place for the stability and good of the game. Reus may have slipped through the net but it's worth remembering the way things were not too long ago.