Francisco Martín Aguilar with Portillo. malagacf.com
At midnight on Monday, the 2013/14 transfer window closed - and without Malaga CF making any last minute additions to the team.
Whilst previously it had been expected that the Martiricos outfit would be going all out to secure another new forward for the campaign, manager Bernd Schuster had during his last couple of press conferences hinted that, except in exceptional circumstances, Mounir El Hamdaoui, the Morocco international who joined the Blue and Whites from Italian giants Fiorentina in the middle of last week, would be the last new signing.
And so it turned out to be.
“Due to the great performances in the first three games of the season, in which we should have been luckier with scoring goals, the club’s decision-makers believed that there were enough reinforcements and that no further additions were necessary at this stage,” a Blue and Whites source tells SUR in English.
As such, the window closed with Malaga registering a total of 23 players, which includes the two reserves Fabrice and Darder.
There are seven new signings in the squad, namely Flávio Ferreira, Angeleri, Roberto Chen, Tissone, El Hamdaoui, Bobley Anderson and Pawlowski.
Sources say that no more than 3.7 million euros was spent this summer on new recruits, despite the club’s coffers receiving a 40 million euro boost thanks largely to the sale of players such as Isco, Toulalan and Joaquín.
It is a surplus that will, no doubt, prove to be extremely useful as the outfit continues to adapt to a more “sustainable business model.”
Malaga’s most expensive actions during the summer transfer window were to exercise the 1.25 million euro option-to-buy clause in Antunes’ contract and to purchase Bobley Anderson from Wydad Casablanca for one million euros.
Schuster might now be able to count on the forward, El Hamdaoui, that he favoured, but he and his Malaga colleagues were unable to recruit an attacking midfielder. For this, he will be relying on Portillo, whose contract was renewed on Tuesday.
It had been previously rumoured the 23-year-old, who came up through the Malaga ranks and who played his first minutes of the season against Sevilla on Sunday, was not part of the German-born manager’s plans. However, with a contract extension until the end of the 2015/16 campaign, that now longer seems to be the case.
Speaking to reporters earlier this week at a presentation attended by the general manager, Vicente Casado, and club advisers Francisco Martín Aguilar and Abdallah Ben Barek, amongst other Blue and Whites executives, Portillo said: “There have been rumours going around, but my heart has always been with Malaga and my wish was to stay here. I’m determined to focus on the present, strive to be an important player in the Club and continue to make history with Malaga CF.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has shown me so much love and support every day, all my family and Malaga CF for having faith in me. I think Malaga CF is the ideal club to keep growing as a player.”
Malaga’s Argentinian goalkeeper Willy Caballero has extended his ties with the Blue and Whites until 2017 and the escape clause in his contract has gone up to 20 million euros.
Willy arrived at La Rosaleda from Elche early in 2011 and now holds the record of the Malaga goalkeeper to keep the ball out of the net for the longest in the first division, with a total of 479 minutes of play.