Alessandro Del Piero in his playing days. | EFE


Alessandro Del Piero, the Italian soccer legend, could be Real Mallorca's new sporting director, in what would be a major coup for the local Second Division club. Some Spanish sports newspapers are saying that it is a done deal with new owner, American banker Robert Sarver, and so underlining the fact that he means business. In fact Del Piero is a friend of former NBA star Steve Nash, who forms parts of the Sarver consortium which purchased a major stake in Real Mallorca earlier this week for 20 million euros. The Italian legend, who has recently retired from playing football, would replace former Mallorca and Barcelona great Miguel Angel Nadal as sporting director. Spanish top sports newspaper Marca said on its website today that Nash had contacted Del Piero as soon as Sarver had taken over as principal shareholder.

The US banker, who had one stage attempted to buy Glasgow Rangers, said earlier this week that Mallorca would be active in the transfer market. He also said that his consortium had big contacts in world soccer. The fact that the Italian superstar could be on his way to Mallorca clearly underlines this state of affairs.

Miguel Angel Nadal had been the right-hand man of former Real Mallorca owner Utz Claassen, who will remain as president of Real Mallorca for the rest of the season. With Sarver's arrival, Nadal's position at the club had come under the spotlight. However, it was unclear today whether he would remain at the club. It has also been reported that Real Mallorca were also interested in having Steve McManaman, the former Real Madrid and Liverpool player, as their sporting director. McManaman owns a home in Son Vida and is also a close friend of Nash.

Overall, the Spanish media have welcomed Sarver's arrival at Mallorca.