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Michael Santos, En-Nesyri and Miquel lead the clear-out at La Rosaleda

En-Nesyri continues to train despite an imminent move.
En-Nesyri continues to train despite an imminent move. / Ñito Salas
  • These high-profile departures could end the transfer impasse, with forward Héctor Hernández joining this week from Atlético Madrid

With the start of the season just two weeks away, the days are passing at an alarming rate for those involved behind the scenes at La Rosaleda. As of today, Malaga have only sealed four signings, after forward Héctor Hernández joined from Atlético Madrid on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old, who proved prolific during loan spells in the second and third tiers, joins Badr Boulahroud, Renato Santos and Munir through the door at La Rosaleda this summer and could be the first of several signings this month as the clock counts down to the start of the season.

Deals for further signings are believed to be at an advanced stage, but until now Malaga have been simply unable to sign them off with fewer outgoings than expected having materialised.

Last week was a big one with Mikel and Keko leaving on loan to Reus and Real Valladolid, respectively, and Bakary Koné's contract cancelled so he could join Turkish side Ankaragücü.

This week, meanwhile, Michael Santos, who coach Juan Ramón Muñiz had hoped would lead the attack this year, moved to Leganés on a season-long loan after activating his relegation release clause.

Out-of-favour midfielder Esteban Rolón has also departed, moving to Genoa, also on loan.

These departures allowed Malaga to complete the signing of Héctor, but the squad still needs further trimming, with numbers still in excess of the 25 permitted.

A change of heart

At the start of the summer the club stood firm in its resolve not to sell prized assets Ignasi Miquel and Youssef En-Nesyri. However, with time and financial flexibility against them, as well as the need to revamp the squad from top to bottom, negotiations with Getafe for the former and Leganés for the latter have reopened.

Centre-back Miquel had attracted interest earlier in the summer from Eibar and Leganés but it appears that Getafe are now in the driving seat and are close to sealing a deal, short of the player's 3.5-million-euro release clause.

Likewise, a fee believed to be in the region of six million euros looks to be enough to tempt Malaga to sell En-Nesyri, short of his 10-million-euro release clause, as sporting director José Luis Caminero aims to strengthen across the board.

This cash boost would give him massive manoeuverability before the close of the window at the end of the month.

A new keeper

An area likely to need reinforcing is in goal. Despite already bringing in Moroccan keeper Munir, Malaga must now look for a third keeper (with Stole Dimitrievski set to move from Nàstic after the Tarragona club secured a replacement in the form of Isaac Becerra) after Andrés Prieto expressed his desire to leave. Prieto was expecting to become the first-choice stopper but has seemingly been usurped during preseason by Munir and is now looking for regular game time elsewhere.

One player who will not be moving, however, is veteran midfielder Manuel Iturra. "I've spoken with Muñiz and Caminero and they are counting on me next year. I have a contract and I am very happy," he told reporters following the side's 1-1 draw with Almeria.