An internal debate is rumbling behind the scenes at La Rosaleda as Malaga decide which path to take for the rest of this transfer window. While signing a central midfielder remains a priority to cover for Alfred N'Diaye in June when he heads to the African Cup of Nations, finances are restricted unless sales are sanctioned.
While Sead Haksabanovic and Héctor are set to depart when new loan destinations are found for them (Real Majadahonda have so far been unwilling to pay Malaga's share of Héctor's wages), finding a new home for Badr Boulahroud is proving more difficult.
There has, however, been interest in players Malaga are loath to lose. Sporting director José Luis Caminero said last Friday: "Some of our players who feature every Friday have offers to leave from both Spanish teams and teams from abroad." Interest has been expressed in captain Federico Ricca, Adrián and Gustavo Blanco Leschuk, but so far the only concrete offer on the table, in the region of two million euros, is for winger Jony, currently on loan at Deportivo Alavés.
Jony, who joined from boyhood club Sporting Gijón in June 2016, struggled to settle on the Costa del Sol and only made a handful of appearances before returning to Sporting for the second half of last season.
While currently performing above expectations for high-flying Alavés, it is understood that the player has no desire to return to Malaga and has an agreement in principle in place with the Basque side. What's more, in the summer, he will only have one year left on his deal.
The merits of keeping hold of him seem limited, but club president Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani is unwilling to sanction a move. Not only is the quantity deemed too small (Vasyl Kravets, by contrast, has just moved from Lugo to Leganés for 2.5 million euros), Al-Thani's argument centres on the image of the club.
He doesn't want Malaga to appear to be a 'small club' that sells its best players. The same applies for any of the squad currently featuring regularly under coach Juan Ramón Muñiz.
Dani Torres not an option
The offer from Alavés for Jony also included the option for Malaga to take midfielder Dani Torres. Though the Colombian fits the profile of player Malaga are looking for, it is believed that the club are not interested in securing his services.
Torres has not featured for Alavés and has been offered to a number of Segunda clubs.