Malaga, officially planning for life in SegundaFebruary 20, 2018
Though not outwardly discussing the possibility of relegation, Malaga are already working hard behind the scenes to prepare for what now seems an inevitability.
According to Malaga-based newspaper Diario SUR, work is already under way two-fold in identifying targets for the summer transfer window, with both relegation and possible salvation in mind.
The policy was already in evidence in the January window with sporting director Mario Husillos bringing in midfielders Mehdi Lacen and Manuel Iturra and defender Ignasi Miquel with the idea that they would be involved with the squad next season, come what may.
Lacen and Iturra are both in the twilight of their careers and the club believes they are of sufficient level to compete in the top flight, but not above playing in Segunda. Likewise, Miquel, who was recruited from Lugo, is a promising player yet still has plenty of room for development before he can establish himself as a La Liga player.
In a similar vein, academy products Javi Ontiveros and Álex Mula were added to the significant haul of players at second-division sides with the idea that they could adapt to the league ahead of a possible campaign there next year.
Very active in January
Though Malaga brought in a total of eight players this winter, only the aforementioned three are expected to stay beyond the end of the season.
The rest were brought in a season-long loan deals, none with a compulsory purchase, apart from Samuel Garcia whose loan will only be made permanent should Malaga stay up.
The rest of the squad still under contract after June, bar three, will all see their wages halved in the event of relegation. There will therefore be question marks over Juanpi, Federico Ricca and Michael Santos who had no such clause inserted into their contracts and will therefore be expected to move on.
So just as the dust starts to settle on a manic transfer window, the next challenge is already upon them as they prepare to face their fate.