Signing a football player, especially a highly sought after goal-scoring striker, these days involves a lot of faff, the fee, the wages, the bonuses, the dreaded agents cut and the deadline-day scrambles. In Spain the La Liga transfer window officially opens on July 1 and shuts at 11:59pm on September 1.
In RCD Mallorca’s case the top priority is the permanent deal to buy Vedat Muriqi from Italian side Lazio. His signing looks set to become the big soap opera of the summer as far as our participation in the transfer market is concerned. Muriqi has had a hugely successful few months in Palma quickly adapting to the Spanish way of playing and his five goals and three assists have endeared him to the Son Moix faithful, he’s hugely popular.
Mexican coach Javier Aguirre wants the Kosovar international to be one of the cornerstones of his project next season. However, there’s a long way to go before any of our expectations becomes a reality.
The player and Majorca have already agreed on his new contract which reportedly is a four-year deal with the player getting around 2.5 million net a season.
The player is delighted with the team and the island and wants to continue. All we need now is for parent club Lazio to set a price. Italian sports paper Corriere dello Sport reported last week that Lazio would probably be willing to accept around 10 million euros for the 28-year-old, a price that would appear to be acceptable to Mallorca.
It seems a good deal for all parties despite the fact that Lazio are recovering essentially half of what they paid Turkish club Fenerbahce back in September 2020. Muriqi’s market value plummeted in Rome so at least if they get 10 million it makes things more palatable for Lazio . His strong start for his Spanish career with Mallorca shows he has more quality said he ever showed in Rome with Lazio.
Mallorca’s director of football Pablo Ortells now takes center stage as he shuffles the pack, putting a team in place that will do much better than the one that has just narrowly escaped relegation. With that in mind, the club is accelerating negotiations because we don’t want to lose the services of Muriqi.
A center forward who is unquestionably one of the best headers of a ball in La Liga has been rocketed into the limelight. A goal-scoring forward is a very appetizing object in today’s transfer market and the interference of a third party can ruin everything. We need to close this deal asap
Other players in the news are Pablo Maffeo and Dani Rodriguez who have extended their contracts, Dani until 2024. Sadly Salva Sevilla and Manolo Reina have departed. Salva has joined up with our ex boss Luis Garcia Plaza at newly-relegated Alaves and Reina has signed for home city club Malaga.
Before the end of June, Osasuna must settle the pending debt of Ante Budimir’s transfer to Pamplona, a figure in the region of eight million euros. We must also pay Getafe three million for Amath. The Senegalese player has had a serious toe problem this season and in the few appearances he’s made he didn’t look fit. Turns out his toe injury became infected and reports speak of him on the verge of having the troubled appendage amputated! Now it seems he’s back on the road to a full recovery hoping to regain the form he showed two seasons ago in La Segunda.
It’s been announced that season 2022/23 in La Liga will start on the weekend of August 12. On November 10 the league stops for the World Cup in Qatar and starts again on December 29. The season’s scheduled to finish on the weekend of June 4.
At this time of year there’s not a lot going on in the world of club football, so I thought I’d give a quick rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly on the playing side last season. Best player, best and worst signings, best and worst games, best goal and the biggest disappointments.
Best player: Salva Sevilla with five goals and three assists, he closed a fabulous four years with the club. At 38 years of age he was the heartbeat of the team and left for Alaves. Salva’s set pieces will be sorely missed.
Best signing: Pablo Maffeo, played 35 of the 38 games and didn’t have a bad one, contributed in both attack and defense.
Worst signing: Fer Niño, came on loan from Villareal and was a regular in the Spanish Under 20 team. The son of the former center half of RCD Mallorca, he raised hope with the winning goal in match 2 away at Alaves. He scored another one a few games later and then…nothing, a complete disaster.
Then after our 2-6 humiliation against Granada he went “clubbing” only to receive a fine and suspension from the club. Worst game, that defeat by Granada. Best game, beating Atletico Madrid 1-2 in the Wanda in December.
Best goal: was scored in that game by Take Kubo. That unfortunately was the only good game for the Japanese throughout the season. Despite his undoubted quality, he was a huge let-down, tending to be greedy, and certainly did not justify his two-million-euro wages. Luis Garcia Plaza got fed up with him, with Aguirre also dropping him altogether towards the end of the campaign.
Biggest disappointment: Kang In Lee, we were all excited when the South Korean arrived here for free from Valencia. He flattered to deceive and his best game and only goal came in our 6-1 defeat away at Real Madrid. Looks set to move on in the Summer.
SP I must give huge kudos to our 62-year-old Mexican coach Javier Aguirre. He arrived with nine games left to go and things didn’t look good. He had a reputation for getting teams out of trouble when all seemed lost. He worked a miracle with time running out and will be at the helm again next season.
AND FINALLY, a dog applies for a top job as a company PA. The ad states that the successful candidate must have good keyboard skills, a good grasp of shorthand and be able to speak a second language. The interviewer watches in amazement as the dog performs the most complex functions including spreadsheets.
He then dictates a letter to the dog and is stunned by its ability to write 180 words per minute in immaculate shorthand.
“Well impressed,” he says. “It looks like your job. Just one last thing, what about the second language?” And the dog goes “Meow!”