José Rodríguez is now a Malaga player. His signing was confirmed on Tuesday, transfer deadline day, after the player passed his medical on Monday morning. The midfielder joins until the end of the season on a loan deal from German club Mainz, with an option to buy for three million euros.
The former Real Madrid academy graduate is a versatile operator in midfield, but plays primarily as a number 10, contrary to the type of player the club had identified as a priority.
With a season-ending injury to Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Recio going under the knife for an elbow injury, a holding midfielder became a priority for the Blue and Whites this January window. Alfred N'Diaye was identified as the man to fill the void, but the player's indecision put paid to any deal and he joined Premier League strugglers Hull City instead.
Rodríguez, 22, found his playtime limited at Mainz, whom he joined in the summer after a season at Galatasaray. Prior to that, he played for Deportivo, on loan from Real, featuring 25 times in the top flight, scoring two goals.
The former Spain under-21 international joined training with his new side on Wednesday and is likely to be included in the matchday squad for the clash against Espanyol on Saturday (1pm kickoff).
He is Malaga's fourth signing of the window, after Adalberto Peñaranda, Martín Demichelis and Luis Hernández.