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Villarreal comings and goings, and what IS going on at Malaga?

Some players’ futures still up in the air.

Malaga CF v RCD Mallorca - Pre-Season Friendly
This is almost Malaga’s entire team—right there.
Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Here’s the latest rundown....

(1) Battling Jaume Costa (tm) appears certain to join Marcelino’s Valencia on a loan this season. Not sure what exactly is going on here, but clearly more than meets the eye. Jaume had been pretty upfront about wanting to stay one more season but he’s been frozen out of the team’s plans for awhile.

(2) Santy Caceres is another player who is likely to be loaned out...the latest rumor is he may go to Bologna, since they lost Erick Pulgar to Fiorentina. Again, this would be a loan with no purchase option.

(3) Alfred N’Diaye has a complicated situation because he’s supposed to be playing at Malaga again, but Malaga can’t register him. In fact, at the moment they can only register between 12 and 14 players, and it’s not even certain they can pay their coach.

The easy way around this would be for Malaga to sell Villarreal Javier Ontiveros, but for whatever reason their tweeter-in-chief, Abdullah Al Thani, is refusing to sanction the deal. Al Thani’s only response has been to issue a bizarre statement stating his ‘love for Malaga’ but saying nothing else really.

And (I must confess I have not been paying attention to Malaga finances much) there is also a long-running saga involving BlueBay Hotels, which in 2013 agreed a deal with Al Thani, to pay off Malaga’s debt in return for a 49% share in the club. Somehow or another, Al Thani announced a year later the deal had never happened and ever since BlueBay has been fighting in court to gain control of the club, as the agreement was they would manage it. (This history, and more, is all covered in this excellent article from last spring).

BlueBay have now spoken up in an attempt to get Al Thani to leave, I guess, but he sits in Qatar (rumor is he can’t leave the country) and the Spanish court system is slow. I don’t know how one goes about actually getting a judgment enforced, but it sounds as though that is what BlueBay needs.

At this point, Ontiveros is really the only asset they have left to sell of any consequence, and they can’t even register N’Diaye or Shinji Okazaki, whom they signed on a free earlier this summer. If Ontiveros arrives, then Leo Suarez probably goes on loan to Mallorca again.

Malaga are supposed to open their season Saturday at Racing Santander, another team who nearly disappeared before getting rid of a foreign con artist. We’ll see if it happens.