Malaga's new-look squad almost complete as three new players arrive

Sporting director Manolo Gaspar with new signing Jairo.
Sporting director Manolo Gaspar with new signing Jairo. /
  • Jairo, Pablo Chavarría and Juan Soriano have joined just as the club made significant progress in letting eight players go as part of its ERE mass redundancy plan

Malaga are showing no sign of slowing down in the transfer market, completing their tenth, eleventh and twelfth signings of the window during a busy 48 hours at La Rosaleda.

Winger Jairo Samperio is the latest to join, signing a two-year deal on Tuesday after leaving German side Hamburg.

Jairo, the most high-profile of the signings so far, returns to Spain after a spell in Germany with Mainz and Hamburg. The 27-year-old first came to prominence with Racing Santander, making his debut having just turned 18, before earning a move to Sevilla with whom he won the Europa League.

Jairo joins after both Pablo Chavarría and Juan Soriano completed moves on Monday on year-long deals, filling spots in what have been two problem positions for the Blue and Whites for the past year.

Thirty-two-year-old Chavarría joins on a free transfer after negotiating his exit from Real Mallorca while Soriano, 23, joins on loan from Andalusian rivals Sevilla.

The former is the third striker to sign this summer (after Orlando Sá and Caye Quintana) though the Argentinian can also play on the wing. With Mallorca in La Liga last year he made 15 appearances but failed to score a single goal. In the previous season with French side Reims, he scored five goals in 30 appearances in Ligue 1.

Soriano was also playing in La Liga last season, making 11 appearances between the sticks for relegated Leganés. He will come in to provide competition for Dani Barrio who was up until now the only goalkeeper on a professional contract.

More new arrivals

Despite having made 12 new signings already, the work is not done for sporting director Manolo Gaspar. Central defence remains an area with little cover and a loan move for Leganés centre-back Josua Mejías is close to being finalised.

The 23-year-old Venezuelan is likely to be joined in the ranks by Luis Muñoz, whose contract with Malaga expired in the summer but has been willing to sign a new deal.

Muñoz's second coming, however, is reliant on the outcome of the club's ERE mass redundancy plan coming to fruition. The club announced earlier in the summer that all first-team players would be included in the drastic measure to reduce the wage bill.

An agreement was reached on Monday between the club and the committee appointed to represent those affected which will see eight players see their contracts terminated - should the players, as expected, give the offer the green light. Those players are Juanpi, Luis Hernández, Dani Pacheco, Badr Boulahroud, Emanuel Cecchini, Diego González, Renato Santos and Esteban Rolón.

Defender David Lombán, who was included in the ERE, will remain at the club after agreeing to take a pay cut.

These departures, as well as the sales of Keidi Bare, Álex Mula and Iván Jaime and the free-transfer departures of Adrián, Juankar, Munir and Cifu will mean that with the only survivors from last season (Mohamed Benkhemassa and Lombán), plus the twelve signings, the two set to arrive (Mejías and Muñoz) and the conversion of defender Juande's contract into a professional one, that there is only one place left in the squad to fill (La Liga only permit 18 in the case of Malaga for rule breaches) ahead of the deadline on 5 October. There may be a surprise yet to come...