With just a fortnight to go before the start of the season, Malaga have been hit by a new internal crisis.
Following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Lazio in the Trofeo Costa del Sol on Saturday night, Malaga head coach Míchel seemed calm, despite a disastrous preseason run which has seen the Blue and Whites lose all of their friendly games so far.
He said: “We’ve still got a fortnight to go. We will continue to search for solutions, whether from inside the squad or outside.”
When asked about further incomings, the former Olympiacos and Marseille boss said: “I get the impression there is money to spend; our priority right now is a centre midfielder and a forward.”
Zenit midfielder Javi García has long been a target and Míchel confirmed that they had been in contact with the former Manchester City man.
“I spoke with him yesterday. It’s looking good. We’re just waiting for the final OK [from owner Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani].”
However, in the immediate aftermath of the game at La Rosaleda, Al-Thani took to Twitter to say: “With my respect to the player Javi Garcia it is not our target for Málaga cf so please close this door.”
— Abdullah N Al Thani (@ANAALThani) August 5, 2017
Despite publicly undermining his man in the hotseat, Al-Thani later clarified his position, saying: “I trust him and I believe he make big team so please I do not want anyone [saying] there is no trust between me and the coach.”
So far this summer, Malaga have lost Sandro Ramírez to Everton, Ignacio Camacho to German side Wolfsburg and Pablo Fornals has returned to Villarreal.
The most high-profile arrivals have been Borja Bastón on loan from Swansea, former Nice defender Paul Baysse and goalkeeper Roberto from Espanyol, with youth recruits Emanuel Cecchini and Diego González making up the numbers in the squad.