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Mario Husillos returns as Malaga’s director of football

Mario Husillos returns as Malaga’s director of football

Mario Husillos has rejoined Malaga for his seventh spell at the club, replacing outgoing Francesc Arnau as director of football – a role Husillos takes on for the third time.

Husillos, who was replaced by Arnau two years ago, is back at the club he represented as a player and is seen as a low-risk appointment given his history and strong relationship with club owner Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani.

The change at La Rosaleda comes as no surprise after a torrid start to the season which sees Malaga propping up the table with just the single point to their name.

With many fans pointing to a disastrous summer transfer window as the root cause of their woes, the role of Arnau had started to come under doubt.

Not only did Malaga lose both Ignacio Camacho and Pablo Fornals after Arnau failed to broker new contracts for the pair, owner Al-Thani felt compelled to intervene in transfer negotiations personally, notably in the case of Esteban Rolon for whom the sheikh personally led talks.

Malaga, who had been desperately seeking a centre forward even before the departure of Sandro Ramirez, then ended the window with the haphazard signing of Diego Rolan, a player which Malaga are effectively only keeping warm for Deportivo who will sign him at the end of the current season.

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With the squad notably weaker than it was at the end of the campaign, Husillos returns ‘home’ with a big job on his hands. The Argentine has left his role at Olympiakos with his reputation intact after a successful two-year spell, but will have serious work to do if he is to help steer Malaga clear of relegation.

His first task will be to identify a central defender available on a free transfer after Diego Gonzalez was ruled out for three months, leaving Luis Hernandez and Paul Baysse as the only available recognised centre backs.

Husillos was present at training on Thursday ahead of Malaga’s home match against Leganes on Sunday evening.