A quiet deadline day for Malaga with no further arrivals

Keko makes a rare outing for Malaga.
Keko makes a rare outing for Malaga. / SUR
  • The club could only offload Keko meaning signing Antoñín to a professional contract was the extent of incomings

The winter transfer window slammed shut on Friday night, bringing a close to what was a rather underwhelming month for Malaga.

Keko's move to Deportivo La Coruña was the only departure on the final day, leaving only room and time for the signing of forward Antoñín to a professional contract until 2023.

Keko's three-and-a-half-year association with the club has finally been brought to an end after he was allowed to leave on a free transfer, albeit with a substantial sell-on clause (believed to be around 20 per cent). He joined during the side's penultimate season in La Liga but failed to recreate his form at Eibar and was consequently loaned out to Valladolid last season. This season, he hardly featured at all.

He heads to Dépor where he will team up with Hugo Vallejo. The youngster departed Malaga for Real Madrid earlier in the window, then was immediately loaned out to the Galician club.

Hugo was one of several outgoings in January. The 19-year-old forward was soon followed out the door by Lorenzo González, who only joined the club from Manchester City in the summer. The striker joined Swiss outfit St Gallen.

These moves followed the departures of Álex Mula and Iván Rodríguez (loaned to Alcorcón and Ponferradina, respectively). Mula and Iván were two of the three players who were on Malaga's books without officially being registered this season, after a disastrous summer transfer window.

The third was José Rodríguez, who joined Fuenlabrada last Thursday, despite president Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani's objections, albeit without an option to buy.

Limited squad places

These moves only freed up space for three new players to be registered. The first was filled early in the window with the arrival of forward Sergio Buenacasa. The 23-year-old joined on loan from Mallorca until the end of the season after his loan to Segunda rivals Ponferradina was cut short over lack of playing time.

The second was filled by winger Tete Morente. The 23-year-old tore up his contract with Lugo to join on a free transfer for the remainder of this season and the next.

The third was then filled by Antoñín, but only after speculation died down over a last-minute sale.

Interest continues

A number of clubs, primarily in Spain, were interested in the forward's services, as well as those of midfielder Keidi Bare.

Despite Antoñín signing on the dotted line, it is unlikely that interest in the pair will die down. In fact, it is highly likely that talks with clubs will continue with a view to a summer transfer.

Rolón remains, for now

One player who is certainly surplus to requirements is Argentinian midfielder Esteban Rolón. Having played just 115 minutes so far this season, the club is working hard to convince him to leave on loan.

Though the transfer window is closed for the major leagues, there are still a number of options available to him, such as to the US, Mexico or his native Argentina.

His wages, however, are prohibitive. As SUR revealed, Rolón earns more than 1.5 million euros a year and, given his level since joining Malaga (with the seal of approval from president Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani) for 3.2 million euros in 2017, his stock has fallen considerably.