On the back of a superb final third of the season, a revitalised Malaga under Míchel managed to sell a record-breaking 24,000 season tickets in the run-up to their tenth consecutive campaign in the top flight.
Much has changed since May, however. The departures of Sandro Ramírez, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Kameni and Ignacio Camacho were perhaps inevitable, but the general feeling was one of satisfaction that the business was completed relatively early on and that deals for Jorge Meré, then of Sporting Gijón, and Javi García, now of Real Betis, just required signing off.
However, with both those deals falling through, Malaga’s squad is thread bare with just seven days left to rectify it. In both cases, Malaga were in the driving seat to complete the deals, but the internal crisis taking hold put paid to what would have been two major coups for the club.
According to Diario SUR, club owner Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani has been personally taking charge of certain negotiations, sidelining sporting director and former Malaga captain, Francesc Arnau, in the process.
It is understood that a switch for Javi García was all but done, only for the sheikh to pull the plug and enter into negotiations for Argentinian youngster Esteban Rolón.
Despite the deal appearing to fall through earlier this week, the 22-year-old is expected in Malaga tomorrow for a medical after a dramatic U-turn.
Coming under criticism on Twitter, the sheikh blamed LaLiga’s wage cap limits for the apparent lack of spends while also appealing: “Tell me where these better players are.”
Diego González has arrived from Sevilla’s B team as an alternative to Meré to plug the gap in defence while Emanuel Cecchini, who joined from Banfield, will be the long-term replacement for Pablo Fornals.
Malaga, however, another forward with only Borja Bastón available to fill the respective positions and have been linked with an audacious loan bid for Inter Milan’s Gabriel Barbosa.