Atlético Club de Madrid seems as if it's destined to always be in eternal torment, if it's not problems at board level that's affecting the club then it's down on the pitch where it's best assets are being taken away and re-building is a constant necessity to even dream of catching Spain's big two.
While it would be easy to make comparisons to their rivals down the road who bathe in a sea of white, it would be much more intuitive to look closer to home before even worrying about anyone else.
Argentine star Sergio Agüero has left the building along with young goalkeeping sensation David De Gea. Both have left for the bright lights, grey skies and money of Manchester to leave an air of uncertainty hovering over the Vicente Calderon this summer.
After finishing seventh last season, Quique Sánchez Flores left the club to be replaced by former Sevilla coach Gregorio Manzano. Along with the transfers of Agüero and De Gea it marked the end to a successful period for Atleti despite an underwhelming end to last season.
While the last real success was the Primera Division title in 1996, the last few years have seen Atlético compete in the UEFA Champions League and do the double in 2009/2010 with the Europa League and Copa Del Rey titles. The start of last season even saw the UEFA Super Cup in the Vicente Calderon trophy room defeating Inter.
Sir Alex Ferguson see's his team's in cycles, he constantly looks to revamp to keep them fresh and hungry, perhaps we are seeing this here with Atleti. Not through an act of planning and organisation, but reacting to what has happened at the club this summer and a necessity to restructure.
While the loss of Agüero would affect any team in the world, the €45m brought in from the sale has already been put to good use. Defenders Silvio (€8m) from Braga, Miranda (free) from Brazilian club Sao Paolo will no doubt fill the gap left by Ujfaluši's departure to Galatasaray. You will be hard pressed to see any fan crying over the loss of the Czech defender after some poor performances and a general decline since his arrival.
Gabi (€3m) returns to the club from Zaragoza after four years away and joins the more recently acquired Turkish sensation Arda Turan, for a Turkish record fee of €12m. He already seems to be setting his sights high as Atleti head into the new season "Real Madrid and Barcelona are great, but after all the 11 players are human beings and Atlético has great potential to reach their level. We have to fight. I do not think that is impossible,"
Even with the transfers above, Atletico still have some muscles to flex in the coming month. The €63m income from outgoing's gives Manzano the funds to improve the squad in numerous areas. Arda's flexibility to play on either wing or up front gives Manzano plenty of potential options attacking wise, but Agüero's strike partner Diego Forlan could well be on his way so more strength will be needed up front.
Other potential incoming's include Espanyol striker Osvaldo, a €17m fee had been agreed for the Argentine born striker according to Marca but has yet to materialise for whatever reason. He scored 20 goals in 44 league games for Blanquiblaus. The more interesting transfer though, concerns the signing of Colombian sensation Radamel Falcao. A fee was agreed for the hit man who helped Porto to a prestigious treble last season, scoring the winning goal in the Europa League final against Braga. There's no doubting Falcao's talent but filling Aguero's boots is a big ask especially when you consider the hefty €40m initial price tag plus €7m in potential add-ons, making it the most expensive in the club's history. But 41 goals in 51 appearances for Porto should guarantee goals for the Atleti faithful. The transfer is a bit of a coup for the Rojiblanco considering Falcao has been heavily linked with Europe's top teams since the close of last season.
Another position Manzano will have to fill is the man between the sticks. With David De Gea's big frame leaving, the position looks set to be given to 18-year-old Thibault Courtois. The young Belgian keeper initially joined Chelsea in the summer but has been swiftly loaned to Atlético to gain experience. He made his debut for Genk in 2009 aged just 16 but went on to establish himself as number one last season. His six-foot six-inch frame has already led to comparisons with De Gea but whether he can live up to the hype only time will tell.
The Rojiblanco have some tough decisions to make before the transfer window closes. It will be these next few weeks that determine whether Atleti have what it takes to compete with the likes of Athletic, Sevilla and the much improved Malaga for a European place in the league.
With some shrewd investment Atletico need to cut their relatively big squad down while improving the quality and so far they look on track to achieve that. If the signing of Falcao is sealed it will be a big statement to the rest of the league that Manzano and his troops mean business for the coming season.