Falcao fires again but Llorente clashes with Bielsa: How the Premier League's transfer targets fared last week

From La Liga to the Bundesliga, English sides are chasing players who featured in matches across Europe in the past seven days - but how did they all get on?
By Oliver Platt

That the transfer window does not open again for nearly three months does not mean that Premier League managers and executives have switched off in their search for new signings this season.

Indeed, the presence of Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini at the Vicente Calderon for Atletico Madrid's match against Malaga caught the eye - although perhaps not quite as much as the man he was likely there to watch.

Goal.com brings you both the best and the worst individual displays from throughout the week as we track those who could be moving to the Premier League after Christmas.


While all eyes were on the Clasico, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid made a statement of their own by beating third place Malaga 2-1 to draw level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga. That Diego Simeone's team now lie eight points clear of their usually grander rivals, Real Madrid, is largely down to the efforts of striker Falcao.

Arsenal have reportedly joined Manchester City and Chelsea in the race for the Colombia international and, in front of Mancini, his blistering form continued here, as he scored Atletico's first goal and then forced visiting defender Weligton into putting the ball into his own net as he challenged for a knockdown in the dying minutes.

In-form striker Son Heung-Min grabbed the only goal as Hamburg did enough to edge to a 1-0 win over Greuther Furth on Saturday. The 20-year-old reportedly caught the eye of the likes of Liverpool and West Ham when he scored two goals against defending champions Borussia Dortmund in September and continued his good start to the season to help Hamburg maintain their place in the top half of the Bundesliga table.

Sought-after midfielder Victor Wanyama, who has been linked with Manchester United, among others, played a key role as Celtic recorded their first victory away from home in the Champions League since 1986. The 21-year-old Kenyan produced a trademark crunching tackle to spark a counterattack from which Gary Hooper scored the Bhoys' first goal against Spartak Moscow, and later helped Neil Lennon's team beat Hearts 1-0 to rise to first place in the Scottish Premier League.

Wilfried Bony looked set to join Aston Villa in the summer and Paul Lambert may have cast some envious looks in Vitesse's direction while his team suffered a 2-0 defeat against Tottenham. The Arnhem club were held to a draw by Heerenveen but Bony shone again, scoring a hat-trick to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.


Fernando Llorente
- along with his Athletic Bilbao coach, Marcelo Bielsa - hit the headlines early in the week after appearing to walk out of the Basque club's Monday morning training session following a row with the Argentine. Bielsa later admitted that there had been a disagreement but insisted that "these things happen in football". Llorente was left out of the starting line-up for the match against Osasuna on Sunday but Aritz Aduriz's goal was enough to seal a 1-0 triumph.

It was a mixture of good and bad for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. The Poland international scored the opening goal against Hannover but his team's title hopes were dealt a further blow when former Manchester United forward Mame Biram Diouf equalised in the 86th minute to ensure that the points were shared.

AC Milan's poor start to the season continued against arch-rivals Inter, as Walter Samuel's early header secured three points for Andrea Stramaccioni's team. Stephan El Shaarawy has been a bright light for the Rossoneri but could not unlock the Inter defence here and was eventually substituted.

Benfica managed to see off Beira Mar, winning 2-1, without star striker Oscar Cardozo, who is currently sidelined with a muscle injury. The Paraguay international, who is reportedly a target for Chelsea and Everton, also missed his team's clash against Barcelona in the Champions League and was dealt an additional blow when the problem cost him his involvement in his country's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Peru.

Angelo Ogbonna, who, according to reports, has caught the eye of both Manchester clubs, could not stop Torino from falling to their first defeat of the season against Cagliari. The Serie A outfit were unbeaten through five league games and thrashed Atalanta 5-1 away from home at the end of September, but were stopped in their tracks by Nene's goal.

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