The first 29 days of January were quiet. Giuseppe Rossi left for Fiorentina, Fernando Llorente agreed a summer move to Juventus but finances dictated clubs should continue to run a tight ship, cut back and keep an eye on loans and freebies. The last two days of January may have hardly burst into life either, but there was more activity and some Coaches will have ended the month happier than others.
One man happy to see February will be Manuel Pellegrini. After adding Chelsea striker Lucas Piazon and PSG defender Diego Lugano on loan it looked like Malaga would see nobody departing a squad which is challenging domestically and in Europe. But just as they looked closed for business they lost left-back Nacho Monreal to Arsenal for €12m. The deal was supposedly in place for the summer – Monreal has been learning English – but was brought forward due to an injury to Kieran Gibbs.
Los Boquerones acted quickly to replace him with Vitorino Antunes, a much-travelled 25-year-old Portuguese international, but loans are not the staples of a stable club. Dinamo Zagreb's Pedro Morales was also brought in, in light of another sale - Diego Buonanotte. The 24-year-old Argentinean moved across Andalusia to Granada, who once again pursued an aggressive transfer policy.
Zaragoza forward Carlos Aranda had already signed permanently, Recio from Malaga and Nolito from Benfica had already agreed loan deals when the club’s board decided to pull the trigger on Coach Juan Antonio Anquela on Thursday morning. In came Lucas Alcaraz to replace him but it seemed to carry no effect on the incomings at Los Carmenes.
Staying in Andalusia, Unai Emery will wake up one of the happier tactician having kept his squad intact. Interest from Zenit Saint Petersburg and Everton in Federico Fazio and Alvaro Negredo respectively didn't materialise and Emery was also able to bring in Braga goalkeeper Beto, 30, on loan to replace the departed Diego Lopez.
Across town at Real Betis, Pepe Mel signed Colombian forward Dorlan Pabon on loan from Italian side Parma – the 25-year-old adding depth to Los Beticos' attacking options.
At the top of the table the bigger clubs didn't humour us with action in or out. After signing Lopez, Madrid remained quiet, Atletico Madrid allowed Emre Belozoglu to sign for Fenerbahce and Fernando Gago was permitted to leave Valencia on loan for Velez Sarsfield – his last game proving to be the 5-0 defeat to Real Madrid a few weeks ago.
Barcelona's David Villa was reported to be subject to deadline day bids from both Arsenal and Manchester City – neither accepted. Isaac Cuenca was allowed to leave the club though, with no shortage of interest he chose to relocate to Holland on loan with.
Incidentally Zaragoza were one of those interested in Cuenca, which would seem to fit in with their policy yesterday of signing anyone with La Masia credentials. Manolo Jimenez will no doubt be satisfied with his business though - young Barca striker Rodri arrived on loan so too did Milan defender Adria Carmona while forward Ruben Rochina rolled in from Blackburn Rovers.
Deportivo added Kaka – no, not that one – a 31-year-old Brazilian defender on loan from Hungarian side Videoton while at Rayo Vallecano's Paco Jemez swooped to bring back veteran striker Raul Tamudo.
Juan Ignacio Martinez freshened things up at Levante, opting to loan Bologna striker Robert Acquafresca and signing utility-man Loukas Vyntra, whilst winger Valdet Rama, 25, moved to Real Valladolid and Getafe lent Napoli defender Fede Fernandez.
Osasuna, Espanyol, Mallorca and Celta Vigo got their business done before the madness, time will tell if they'll regret the indulgence of a panic purchase while the Basque sides - Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao - chose to ignore that a transfer window even existed.
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