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La Liga News: 19 August 2015; Valencia Chasing Ezequiel Garay, Villarreal Sign Cedric Bakambu

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Barca Madrid Atleti have Liga dreams Valencia try to keep up - ESPN FC
The most successful, the most skilled, the most advanced and the most technically exquisite football on the planet starts again on Friday. La Liga returns, with all of its virtues and slightly fewer of its faults.

La Liga's five players to watch in the 2015/16 season | Sky Sports
Barcelona's transformation enters another phase this season after the exit of legendary midfielder Xavi, but the treble winners look well stocked. Rakitic's arrival last summer was arguably their most important, embracing his place in Luis Enrique's side in a deeper role than asked of him at Sevilla.

Real Madrid sign Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan | Sky Sports
Kovacic began his career in his homeland with Dinamo Zagreb before moving to Inter two years ago, where he scored eight goals in 97 appearances. Inter coach Roberto Mancini admitted earlier this week that financial fair play pressures had forced the Serie A side into selling one of their prized assets.

Real Madrid La Liga title hopes boosted by summer transfers | Sky Sports
Real Madrid kick-off their title challenge this weekend, as La Liga returns – and you can catch all of the action on Sky Sports. Last season, Barcelona scooped a memorable treble, so Real and new boss Rafa Benitez have an unenviable task of overhauling Luis Enrique’s formidable side.

Kranevitter to Atleti in January | Football Espana
Matias Kranevitter is expected to sign for Atletico Madrid from River Plate in an €8m transfer that will see the midfielder move to Spain in January. The 22-year-old is expected in the capital this week to complete terms on the deal but will remain with his current employers until after December’s Club World Cup.

Garay to replace Otamendi? | Football Espana
Valencia will replace Manchester City-bound Nicolas Otamendi with Zenit St Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay, reports say. Otamendi is expected to complete a €45m move to the Premier League in the very near future, leaving Valencia in need of reinforcements to the centre of defence.

Bakambu to Villarreal | Football Espana
Villarreal have confirmed the signing of Bursaspor striker Cedric Bakambu on a five-year contract. Marca puts the fee paid for the former Sochaux forward at €7m and Bakambu joins Roberto Soldado in the Yellow Submarine’s new-look attack, Soldado joining from Tottenham Hotspur earlier this week, and Leo Baptistao, another summer arrival.

Juan Carlos Valeron makes La Liga return at 40 with Las Palmas | Sky Sports
When Andres Iniesta got to drink in the applause on his tour of La Liga's grounds in 2010, there was a certain logic to it. This was the man who'd won Spain their one and only World Cup after all. But another midfield maestro looks set to enjoy that same privileged status this season. Juan Carlos Valeron didn't win a World Cup. Just the admiration of a nation.