We’ll also have to pay the player’s salary, as well as the dreaded agent’s fees ! | R.D.

After a week when I read “Sir, Am I alone in thinking we should tell Vladimir Putin to stick his gas pipe up his fundament and apply a lighted match to it?” – Real Mallorca, with the January transfer window set to close on Monday night, are in the throes of trying to sign Kosovo international striker Vedat Muriqi from Italian Serie A side Lazio on loan until the end of the season.

Negotiations with the Roma club have been difficult and elongated and as usual it’s all down to money and agent’s commissions. As of Thursday morning when this article is submitted, it will cost 2.5 million euros to bring Muriqi here on loan for four months with a purchase option of 12 million euros – a lot of money for Mallorca and that’s been the stumbling block for the moment. Lazio have been very shrewd in their dealings with our director of football, Pablo Ortells, who’s having a hard time getting the deal over the line.

We’ll also have to pay the player’s salary, as well as the dreaded agent’s fees! I’ve no doubt there’ll be another sting in the tail moneywise before the window closes but if you want a half-decent striker these days, they don’t come cheap. The 27-year-old 6ft 5in attacker is surplus to requirements at Rome-based Serie A side Lazio. He’s been described as being unneeded after signing from Turkish side Fenerbahce for 20 million euros in 2019 and scoring 15 goals in 32 appearances.

Lazio need to finalise a loan deal to allow them to make new signings. Muriqi was among the top 10 wage earners in their squad but ended up, under coach Maurizio Sarri, playing a peripheral role. Since his arrival in Rome, Muriqi has found it difficult to get back on the goal trail and he’s not nearly as prolific as he was in Turkey. Last season he only played 817 minutes scoring one goal and this season’s been even worse, only 207 minutes played and no goals – almost as bad as the strikers we have at the moment!

Us fans are hoping he can regain his scoring form shown in Turkish football; with Mallorca sinking like a stone we need Muriqi to hit the ground running. He was born in 1994 in the Kosovo city of Prizren and was forced to leave at the age of six for exile in neighbouring Albania. He’s turned out for the Kosovo international team making 37 appearances and scoring 18 goals, and played against Spain twice last year. I’ve looked at some of his Turkish goals on You Tube and he looks a “mean machine” but of course it remains to be seen if he can replicate it in La Liga, especially as he probably doesn’t speak Spanish.

There are no La Liga games this weekend with our next must-win match scheduled for next Saturday at 4:15 in Son Moix when Cadiz (two points behind us and in the relegation bottom three) are the visitors. This fixture is vital because if we lose or draw, it could see the dismissal of coach Luis Garcia Plaza.

Before that nailbiter we face Rayo Vallecano in Madrid on Wednesday night at 8pm in the Copa del Rey quarter final. I’m one of those who think this cup run is a distraction from our sole aim – to stay in top flight Spanish football. We’ll be without Japanese star Take Kubo who’s on World Cup qualifying duty with Japan.

Rayo Vallecano are having a brilliant season, especially at home and lost only their first game of the season 0-1 to At. Bilbao last weekend. On the pitch they’re superb but off it things are not so favourable. The smallest club in “primera,” Rayo have no money, a ground (Vallecas) that’s literally falling apart, no online ticket sales, a youth team player with no contract who sleeps on the dressing room floor, a women’s team without a doctor, opposing medics treat Rayo players, and an owner to whom fans now ask one thing repeatedly and to his face – to leave.

Real Mallorca had some better news during the week when it was announced that Antonio Raillo is close to getting back to full fitness after being out with an ankle problem for five months. Although far from being match fit, the fact that Raillo is back on the road to recovery is indeed good news as he’s been sorely missed at the heart of our defence, who so far this season have leaked 33 goals, the joint third worst in La Liga.

AND FINALLY, a man walks into a bar and sees a big jar of pound coins on the counter. He asks the boss “What’s with the jar of money?” He’s told “We have a running challenge in three parts. If you look down the bar you’ll see Big Bad John, he’s the meanest man in town and you have to knock him out then you have to pull out a bad tooth from his pit bull, then you have to go upstairs where you’ll find Big John’s mum.

She’s very old and never had a man for donkeys years, you have to take her to paradise and back and give her a good time.” The man’s not so sure about the challenges but after a few more drinks decides to have a go. He jumps up on the bar and drop kicks Big Bad John sending him crashing to the floor unconscious. Then the customers hear the dog outside snarling, growling and yelping then it goes quiet. Moments later the man comes staggering back into the bar dishevelled and bleeding “Okay, now where’s the old girl with the bad tooth?!”