Much to the annoyance of those at Malaga CF, the future of star striker Sandro Ramírez remains unresolved.
The club’s top scorer last campaign has a release clause of just six million euros which has attracted the interest of Atlético Madrid and several Premier League teams, most notably Everton.
In fact, Ronald Koeman himself was spotted in the stands at La Rosaleda, but that didn’t stop Atlético from stealing a march and making an offer for the player.
The capital club’s transfer ban handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), though, has complicated matters. SUR sources believe that a deal would have been done if it were not for Atleti’s ban on signing players until January.
The possibility of Malaga holding onto him until then has been mooted, but in a World Cup year, the player is keen to impress at a higher level.
This has opened the door to Everton once more. The player was spotted on Merseyside this week, during his break from international duty with the under-21s, with representatives from the club.
Their offer is much more lucrative that that tabled by Atleti and though Sandro had his heart set on staying in Spain, his chances of playing regular first team football with Everton are much stronger than they would be arriving midway through the season with the Madrid side, especially with Romelu Lukaku expected to rejoin Chelsea from the Toffees.
A decision is unlikely to be taken quickly, which is a great disadvantage to Malaga who are counting on the transfer fee to reinvest in the squad. His departure could also have an impact on the club’s wage cap, the results of which will define the club’s recruitment strategy for the window.
The longer this takes, the less likely Malaga are to recruit the players they have targetted.