Spanish transfer market closes with little fanfare
The January transfer window came to a close without any major moves in the Spanish league on Thursday, as Barcelona and Real Madrid stood by their star-studded squads.
Champions League challenger Malaga was the most active club on the closing day of the winter market. It signed Chile midfielder Pedro Morales after selling Spain defender Nacho Monreal to Arsenal and Argentine Diego Buonanotte to Granada.
Earlier in the month, Malaga had already brought in reinforcements Lucas Piazon- on loan from Chelsea- and defender Diego Lugano- on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, in addition to giving prized midfielder Francisco ''Isco'' Alarcon a pay rise.
The other main transfers were exits, with Turkey midfielder Emre Belozoglu leaving Atletico Madrid to return to Fenerbahce after six months in the Spanish capital and Valencia loaning Fernando Gago to Argentine champion Velez Sarsfield for six months.
Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano, two of the league's best attacking squads, both added to their options up front.
Betis signed striker Dorlan Pabon from Parma, while veteran Raul Tamudo returned to Rayo Vallecano from Mexico.
Madrid kept Kaka after AC Milan's interest finally faded in recovering the little-used Brazil star.
Barcelona, meanwhile, shipped 21-year-old winger Isaac Cuenca to Dutch club Ajax on loan until the end of the season just before the window closed. Cuenca had yet to play for Barcelona this season after recently returning from a long-term leg injury.