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A midfielder and a striker, top priorities for January window

The Malaga eleven who took on Granada at La Rosaleda.
The Malaga eleven who took on Granada at La Rosaleda. / Ñ. Salas
  • Sporting director José Luis Caminero is looking at the loan and free transfer market and has already opened negotiations

Though Malaga currently find themselves in the play-off places for promotion back to La Liga, they are not resting on their laurels. January will be a key month for their promotion ambitions and the club is looking to strengthen the squad for the second half of the season.

The two areas which are the focus for sporting director José Luis Caminero are in central midfield and up front.

Ever since José Recio left for Leganés and Manuel Iturra was released (and later joined Villarreal) in the final days of the summer window, Malaga have been short in the middle of the park with only Adrián and Alfred N'Diaye staking a claim for a regular starting place.

Up front, too, Malaga have been short with Gustavo Blanco Leschuk, an undisputed starter, struggling to find a regular partner. Jack Harper has stepped up and started the majority of games, but during his injury absence, which coincided with that of Mamadou Koné, coach Juan Ramón Muñiz has been left with few options.

Héctor, signed on loan from Atlético Madrid, has failed to earn Muñiz's trust and is expected to return to his parent club in January, thus leaving two spaces in the squad that need filling.

Caminero has been prowling the loan and free transfer markets and it is understood that negotiations have started with a number of players.

However, Malaga are also closely monitoring the situation of league rivals Reus who are facing sanctions for their unpaid debts and may be forced to sell players in January.

While midfield and attack are priorities, don't be surprised to see a defender come in too. After long-term injuries to Luis Hernández and Juankar, Malaga also could look to bring in a versatile defender.