Pablo Pérez (centre) with Vicente Casado (left) and Mario Armando Husillos (right) last Wednesday.
Malaga CF have signed their first player of the January 2014 transfer window: 28-year-old Pablo Pérez, who comes to La Rosaleda from Argentina’s Newell’s Old Boys.
The Argentinian-born midfielder has signed a three-year deal with the Martiricos outfit, including the remainder of this League season, at a price of a million euros.
The deal, which lasts until 30th June 2017, was sealed late on Wednesday evening, as the four-hour time difference with Argentina slowed the final negotiation process down somewhat.
Pablo Pérez will be officially presented to the media at La Rosaleda on Monday, although he made his debut with his new teammates in training, under the instruction of coach, Bernd Schuster, at the Ciudad de Malaga athletics stadium yesterday morning.
The midfielder arrived in Malaga last Sunday, and has admitted he felt somewhat anxious ahead of the signing of the agreement with the Martiricos outfit.
Talking on Argentinian radio earlier this week, Pérez commented: “I really hope to be able to meet my new teammates tomorrow or the day after and begin training. I’m so excited, as this really is a big deal for me, and something I’ve been working towards since I started my footballing career. I can’t wait to get started at Malaga CF.”
Pérez successfully passed the routine medical at the Club’s Clínica Rincón on Tuesday, and along with his representatives, was in talks with Malaga CF’s director general, Vicente Casado, and sporting director, Mario Armando Husillos throughout the week until Wednesday evening’s agreement was signed at nearly midnight.
Málaga Club de Fútbol already has the permitted quota (three) of non-European players in the team, meaning that the arrival of Pérez could result in the exit of Panama’s Roberto Chen or Chilean-born Pedro Morales.
However, a source close to this newspaper says that the process to secure the Argentinean an Italian passport, due to his link to the country through his wife, are at an advanced stage.
Although this was not confirmed at the time of going to print, according to the player’s lawyers, it is “highly likely” that the matter will be resolved over the next few days.
Sporting director, Mario Husillos, is approaching the matter carefully, and with as much tact as possible, as until Pablo Pérez receives his Italian passport, the number one candidate to exit the team is Roberto Chen, although no official statement has been made.
Malaga CF were unable to officially announce the signing of Pablo Pérez until the 400,000 euro sum owed to former Blue and Whites, and current Manchester City defender, Martín Demichelis was settled. The Martiricos outfit has now confirmed the amount has been sent to the 33 year-old, and the AFE (Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles) and the LFP (Liga de Fútbol Profesional) have withdrawn the complaint made against Malaga CF due to non-payment. Demichelis also confirmed he received the payment on his official Twitter account, @demichelisok.
Pérez, the early years
Born on 10th August 1985 in Rosario, Argentina, Pérez began his career in the lower ranks of Newell’s Old Boys, where he showed outstanding technical skills on the pitch. He scored an impressive hat trick for his team in a stand out performance in the 4-4 draw against Estudiantes de La Plata back in 2007.
Nicknamed ‘Fantástico’ by his peers, due to his excellent ball technique which often outwits rivals, Pablo Pérez moved to Emelec in Ecuador in 2009.
It was here that the midfielder really honed his skills. He then signed to Unión de Santa Fe in 2010, and was instrumental in the team’s promotions to the country’s first division.
The Argentine returned to Newell’s Old Boys in 2011, and success soon followed as the team was named 2013 Argentine Championship winners, and semi-finalists of the 2013 ‘Copa Libertadores’.