Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Spain

Manuel Pellegrini © Action Images

Pellegrini bemoans Monreal sale



The deadline day sale of Spain defender Nacho Monreal to Arsenal has been a major blow to Malaga and reveals the delicate state of their financial situation, coach Manuel Pellegrini said on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left back agreed a long-term contract with the Premier League club on Thursday, shortly before the January transfer window closed.

"Monreal's exit is a very sad moment for the team," Pellegrini told a news conference, ahead of the visit of Real Zaragoza in La Liga. "It deprives us of a very important player who performed to the highest standards.

"Unfortunately the reality of the club is what it is, and there is no way of hiding it. It was an option that came up at the last minute, and the club thought it was appropriate.

"I understand they have to try and balance the books, because the pressure is on us from all sides, and we have received punishments. It is a major loss to us in sporting terms."

Qatari-owned Malaga were also forced to sell players in the close season despite having earned a first shot at the Champions League.

Although the squad have been suffering delays in wage payments they have reached the last 16 of Europe's elite club competition where they take on Porto later this month.

European football's governing body Uefa have punished the Costa del Sol side for unpaid bills to staff, other teams and the tax authorities, as part of a crackdown on club finances.

Malaga have been given a future minimum one-season ban which would come into effect if they qualify for European competition again over the next four years, though the club have appealed the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

On a more positive note for La Liga's fourth-placed side, Brazilian forward Julio Baptista returned to their squad to play Zaragoza after around 15 months on the sidelines with injuries.

The 31-year-old former Arsenal, Real Madrid and AS Roma player, known as "the beast", has missed most of last season and all of the current campaign with a string of problems.

"Baptista is an important figure to have back in the team," Chilean Pellegrini said.

"He is a player who was unlucky to have a very long injury layoff, and now we hope he is completely recovered."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
United did well against Chelsea
To a lot of people the celebrations that greeted Robin van Persie’s equaliser “represented how low...

Sunday Oliseh
El Clasico gave a glimpse of the future
Real Madrid were deserving winners of the El Clasico at the weekend. A closer look seems to reveal...

John Dykes
United’s Felli-good factor
He was on their books for 10 years as a player, won everything with them and even coached them last...

Emeka Enyadike
Conversations with Senzo
I woke up this morning to the rude shock of the senseless shooting of Senzo Meyiwa and I still...

Carol Radull
Let the chickens hatch K'ogalo
Last year was an exception but I think “it is written” that the Tusker Premier League must go down...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Listen to the fans Rodgers
While in the UK I decided to do what every Liverpool fan would try and do - catch a game.