'Tis the season for players to be presented and for coaches to hold press conferences, apparently. Well, that and increasingly ridiculous transfer speculation. On with the news.
Vice-captain Xavi talks about each of the new signings, the disappointments of last season and Frank Rijkaard.
The official website has details of the pre-season training camp in Scotland, which won't feature the players who were involved in the Copa America (Marquez, Messi and Milito).
Joan Laporta is going to sound like a broken record soon, but as long as it's necessary, he'll keep saying it: Samuel Eto'o is not for sale.
Speaking of which, Eto'o has been busy captaining an African XI against a World XI in a charity match to celebrate the birthday of that great man, Nelson Mandela. Former Barca goalkeeping great Andoni Zubizarreta played for the World XI.
Still on the topic of Sammy: he's had to come out and reiterate once again that he's not going anywhere. To his credit, this isn't one of those transfer sagas started by a star player talking himself into the papers and starting speculation. He's been consistent about his desire to remain.
Diego Milito showers his brother Gabi with praise ahead of his Barcelona presentation.
Yaya Toure has shown unusual diligence for a Barca player - Captain Caveman obviously excluded - by voluntarily starting pre-season training early. Apparently Henry has also followed him onto the empty training pitches of La Masia. Nice.
Former Liverpool 'keeper Jerzy Dudek is officially a Real player.
Youth system product and Spanish U-21 international Esteban Granero commits to a 4-year contract.
Julio Baptista has returned the compliment of technical secretary Miguel Angel Portugal by saying that he wants to stay at the club.
Here's something I completely forgot to mention: Barca B weren't the only 'reserve' side of a filthy rich club relegated at the end of last season. Real Madrid Castilla were relegated from the Spanish second division, which isn't a nice experience, but still not nearly as horrible as the feat accomplished by Barca B - which was relegation from the Spanish third division, in case you haven't heard my agonised ranting on the topic before.
Brazilian striker Ewerthon joins Stuttgart on loan for a year with the option of a permanent move.
Roberto Ayala's controversial switch has been completed. The veteran defender also announced his retirement from international football in his unveiling press conference. (I'm crushed, of course, but that's a post for another day.)
Francisco Pavon of Real Madrid (yeah, that one) and Franclino Matuzalem of Shakhtar Donetsk have signed.
The admirable coach Victor Fernandez talks about the club's transfer activity so far.
Hector Cuper officially takes over as coach, promising changes in mentality and praising the new signings.
Part-time Liverpool winger Mark Gonzalez set to join. I thought Gonzalez was quite good for Real Sociedad. No doubt he'll prove useful for Betis.
Michael Laudrup speaks about the tough job he has on his hands. He's got a point, especially with an UEFA Cup campaign to deal with. (How his presence makes me wish that Hristo Stoichkov's Celta hadn't been relegated. God, imagine the cat fights.)
Kepa Blanco is presented in apparently high spirits after his transfer from Sevilla.
Deportivo La Coruna
The president maintains that Coloccini and Lopo are staying, but not very firmly.
Zaragoza's Angel Lafita has joined on loan, having been stuck on the bench at La Romareda for most of the past season. Depor could use some attacking talent, and they've fixated on signing young players, a lot of them from other clubs' benches or reserve teams in order to affect the change of generation that they desperately needed as far back as 2 years ago.
Espanyol talisman Raul Tamudo, who has I believe never played for another club has pledged that he's happy to stay, quashing rumours of persistent overtones from Villarreal.
New signing Milan Smiljanic reported for pre-season training, but Jonatas has not. Happens every season in La Liga - South Americans being back late, that is, although I think they could probably cut the Brazilian a little slack given recent events involving a plane in that part of the world. Good on Espanyol for having actual disciplinary measures to deal with this type of thing, though. Are you taking notes, Laporta?
Real Madrid's Pablo Garcia joins on loan for a year, having spent the last season on loan at now relegated Celta Vigo.
Also from Real, youth team product Alvaro Mejia has finally given up the battle for a starting spot at the Bernabeu and signed a four year deal with the newly promoted team.
Sevilla's forward Javier Chevanton is suffering from a blocked vein which may keep him out of pre-season training.
Valencia's new sporting director Miguel Angel Ruiz grumbles about how difficult it is to play attractive football these days.
Villarreal coach Pellegrini speaks about the season ahead, and the need for several new signings to plug the holes left by several departures and injuries, mostly in the back but also vitally a forward. That last part won't be easy. Those who saw him in the Premiership might laugh, but Forlan scored so many goals for Villarreal and it's hard to see anyone in the club's price range who could do the same. Unless, of course, they manage to unearth a gem from South America yet again.
Osasuna, who are in desperate need of some strikers, having waved goodbye to Savo Milosevic and Roberto Soldado, has bought in an experienced hand in the form of Walter Pandiani. The former Depor player had a good season at Espanyol in the UEFA Cup, but couldn't get into the starting line-up in the league. Good buy, I should think.
From what I've heard and seen in pre-season, Racing really need help, and finally there are signs that the club will make some moves in the transfer market. Aldo Duscher, recently released by Depor and Jorge Lopez of Valencia are reportedly the first two signings.
On a final note, I usually don't deal in transfer rumours, especially those being pushed by one of the Spanish sports papers, but occasionally I come across one so absurd that I have to point it out, if only to laugh. The geniuses at Marca - which I like chiefly for not being AS - tell us that Real Madrid are thinking about paying for Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta's 60 million euro buy-out clause to prise him away. (Original Spanish version here.)
Oh dear. Iniesta's young and brilliant, it's true, and he did almost join Real as a 12 year old, coming from a town full of Madridistas. However - Let me count the ways in which this story is ridiculous:
1) As it happens, he joined Barca as a 12 year old, and he's been bought up as the club's future ever since. Why did Cesc Fabregas have to leave? Because of Iniesta's existence. They're similar players. So the club does value him - probably about as much as they value vice-captain Xavi at this point - and won't be very keen to see him go.
2) Again, he's been at the club since he was 12. We all know that footballers don't have much loyalty these days, but if I had a list of current squad members who were blaugrana through and through, he'd be near the top.
3) If Joan Laporta is stupid enough to allow this to happen, I will personally - well, I won't say what would happen, but let's just say it would involve me getting a flight to Barcelona and subsequent unpleasantness. Possibly with a hot poker.
(University has started again, so posts will become slightly less frequent, but I'll still try to keep up with all that's going on.)