Malaga would like Rubén Yáñez, Rubén Castro and Lago Junior all to stay. SUR
Malaga CF hoping to convince Rubén Castro, Lago Junior and Yáñez to stay

Malaga CF hoping to convince Rubén Castro, Lago Junior and Yáñez to stay

The trio have been the only standout performers in a miserable campaign but would be required to take a pay cut if they're to sign new deals

Borja Gutiérrez


Monday, 29 May 2023, 07:42


With the majority of the squad’s contracts coming to an end this summer, new Malaga CF sporting director Loren Juarros has his work cut out keeping a select few stars to lead the club’s promotion push next season.

Sources close to the club have suggested that talks have taken place with star forwards Rubén Castro and Lago Junior, as well as established number-one goalkeeper Rubén Yáñez, about new deals.

Not ready to hang up his boots yet

In the case of Rubén Castro, who turns 42 in June, he will question whether he wants to drop to a level lower than he has ever played before. He only signed for Malaga last summer and was the club’s top scorer this season with 10 goals (all in the league).

The Canarian is the all-time top Spanish scorer in Spain’s top two divisions with 289 goals in a majestic career that has spanned over 20 years. While he has not openly discussed retirement, it must be on his mind and he will not be short of offers from second division sides given his prolific record.

No stranger to the third tier

Another leading light in a dismal campaign has been Lago Junior. When asked about his future at a recent press conference, the Ivorian said: “I know what I want to do, but I don’t know what will actually happen.”

The general feeling is that the 32-year-old could be convinced to stay given that he and his family have settled well on the Costa del Sol since his arrival in January.

The wide man has also experienced life in Spain’s third tier previously, both with Gimnàstic de Tarragona and, more recently, Mallorca, who he helped all the way to La Liga with consecutive promotions.

A goalkeeper in demand

Finally, perhaps the trickiest renewal of the three is Rubén Yáñez. The goalkeeper who began the season as a rotation option, ended the campaign as certified number one, starting 21 consecutive matches having only appeared in eight of the opening 21 games.

The 29-year-old, who spent time in the Real Madrid youth set-up, has been attracting interest from a number of Segunda sides, including Real Zaragoza, who seem intent on bringing the Catalan up north.

That said, Malaga can offer Yáñez guaranteed first-team football - something he’s lacked throughout his career up to this point.

However, for any of these three players to stay on, this would likely require them to take a substantial pay cut, giving Segunda teams a significant advantage as they can offer greater financial incentives as well as a higher level of football.


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