An emotional Manolo Gaspar reads his farewell speech. SALVADOR SALAS

Malaga CF's sporting director departs after disappointing end to the transfer window

Manolo Gaspar oversaw an underwhelming January in which only three players came in and a late deal for Tete Morente collapsed

Antonio Góngora / Borja Gutiérrez


Wednesday, 1 February 2023, 14:42

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Manolo Gaspar, Malaga's under-fire sporting director, will leave his post after a disappointing end to the January transfer window.

Gaspar announced the news himself during a press conference this Wednesday afternoon, 1 February - a day after a deadline day during which the club ended up conducting no business, despite sitting in the relegation zone, four points from safety.

Malaga and Gaspar got their business done early on, with the arrivals of wingers Arvin Appiah and Lago Junior (from Almeria and Mallorca, respectively) strengthening the attack, plus the signing of Julián Delmás (from Cartagena) to cover the departure of Juanfran (to Oviedo) in the right-back position.

Winger Pablo Hervías also left the club (joining Bolivian side Club Bolívar), meaning it was just three in and two out.

That said, despite it appearing that the club was satisfied with its dealings, things changed after the sacking of Pepe Mel and the re-appointment of Sergio Pellicer and, on deadline day, the club attempted to make moves but were ultimately thwarted.

A complex operation

Elche expressed a late interest in midfielder Alfred N'Diaye but were unwilling to stump up 300,000 euros for him. As a result, a swap deal involving former Malaga winger Tete Morente was mooted.

A return for Morente would have been a popular signing among the fans but, ultimately, Gaspar and his team couldn't get the deal done in time.

This is because to do so would have involved also allowing winger Álex Gallar to complete a move to Albacete in order for the club to comply with financial restrictions and the wage cap.

However, all of the pieces wouldn't fall into place in time and Malaga were left disappointed.

An emotional farewell

Gaspar informed reporters of his departure by reading a statement, stopping multiple times to let out visible signs of emotion.

He thanked the club and its fans for the support he received during his more than three years in the role and acknowledged that he fell short of expectations during that time.

The club will aim to appoint his replacement within two months, during which time Francisco Capote (Gaspar's number two) will fill the void as interim sporting director.

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