Malaga’s underwhelming transfer activity so far hit a new low on Saturday when club owner Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani pulled the plug on a transfer move for defensive midfielder Esteban Rolón.
According to Diario SUR, negotiations for the the 21-year-old defensive midfielder were being led personally by Al-Thani who had previously vetoed a move for former Manchester City man Javi García, publicly undermining head coach Míchel in the process.
It was understood at that Rolón, who plays for Argentinian second tier side Argentinos Juniors, had been pencilled in for a medical almost two weeks ago ahead of signing a six-year deal. The deal now, however, which would have set the Costa del Sol side back 3.5 million euros, appears to be dead in the water after Al-Thani tweeted: “I’ve been working for more than one month to finish everything but there is no solution. This is why I cancelled the deal because we were wasting time for nothing, I hope you understand.”
According to La Opinión de Málaga, the club now has its sights set on Facundo Quignón, 24, also from Argentina, who has returned to San Lorenzo after a loan spell with Newell’s Old Boys. The latter opted not to activate the two-million-euro purchase clause in the contract despite setting up three goals and showing aptitude for regaining possession.
With this saga persisting (Al-Thani was in negotiations for Rolón for 21 days), the Qatari is coming increasingly under fire from both fans and Míchel himself who said in his press conference to preview the Eibar clash on Monday: “I prefer not to do business on social media” in a direct critique of his boss.
Al-Thani, in turn, deflected attention back on sporting director Francesc Arnau, telling him to sign the striker the team needed.
With Malaga’s season getting under way tonight, there is little time left to source a replacement for Ignacio Camacho who joined German side Wolfsburg earlier in the window.
In midfield, Emanuel Cecchini has been recruited from Banfield but is viewed as a long-term replacement for Pablo Fornals who joined Villarreal. As it stands, the injury prone Zdravko Kuzmanovic, who has made his loan from Basel permanent, is the only recognised number six in the squad.
As a result, Míchel has been toying with a back three ahead of the season opener despite injuries to both Miguel Torres and Federico Ricca, as well as Mikel Villanueva’s loan switch to Segunda side Cádiz.