Clement Grenier (left) scores the second goal away at Osasuna. | R.D.

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The football transfer market is an industry run on buzz and rumour and Real Mallorca are no exception as their director of football, Pablo Ortells, begins to sort out the wheat from the chaff with regard to building a new team for the next campaign with pre-season starting less than three weeks away.

At the moment here in Spain, many top flight clubs have exceeded their salary limits so spending big on transfers just won’t happen.

Apart from Real Madrid, Mallorca appear to have spent the most money so far this Summer after they executed a mandatory purchase clause worth 3.5 million euros by signing Pablo Maffeo from Stuttgart on a four-year deal. A snip for one of the best right-wing-backs in top flight Spanish football.

It was announced on Thursday that Mallorca’s pre-season will start on July 3 in the Son Bibiloni training complex. Then on July 12 the squad and backroom staff will go to Austria for some cooler weather training in the Alps, where they will play three friendlies. In other news, the annual City of Palma team presentation game has been postponed until a later date.

French international midfielder Clement Grenier signed a two-year deal during the week. He arrived out of contract in February surrounded by doubts and played only 56 minutes last season. However, he did score the second goal in our 0-2 win at Osasuna in the last season-defining game. Now with Summer training on the horizon, the club believe the 31-year-old can become an important player next season. There’s no doubt he’s got the credentials, playing over 200 games in Ligue 1 with Lyon and Rennes. He has plenty of European experience as well, after almost 40 games between the Champions League and the Europa League. He also had a brief stint in Italy with Roma and has been capped five times by France under Didier Deschamps.

Our big signing priority is still Vedat Muriqi. The problem is – money. His parent club Lazio want 12 million euros, an amount out of our budget but we would be able to do a deal with anything under 10 million euros. There is however one big problem with that scenario: Turkish giants Galatasaray are gearing up to make a 16 million euro bid for the Kosovan international’s services. That fee is close to the 20 million invested by Lazio when they bought him from Fenerbache.

But there’s a glimmer of hope for Mallorca. Lazio are struggling to sell their players and raise funds, a situation they found themselves in last Summer when their transfer market was effectively blocked by the liquidity index. That means they cannot buy more players or even bring in free transfers until they have sold others to balance the books (a bit like Barcelona’s present predicament). Muriqi has stated his desire to come back to Palma on a permanent deal so it’s a case of….wait and see!

If Muriqi’s deal collapses, two replacement striking options have surfaced. The first is 32-year-old Venezuelan Salomon Rondon who was signed last Summer by Everton. After an injury-hit season at Goodison, he scored just one premier goal and looks to be out of the “Toffee’s” exit door. He’s also turned out for Newcastle United and West Brom. Rondon has La Liga experience at Malaga and Las Palmas and could follow another Venezuelan player, Juan Arango (who played 196 games here between 2004/09) to Real Mallorca. Another name on the list of No. 9s is 26-year-old Argentinian Lucas Alario who’s been in Germany for the last five years at Bayer Leverkusen.

La Liga is already planning what to do during the World Cup break. The Primera division will apply the brakes on November 13 and will not resume until December 21. With more than a month’s hiatus, Spanish clubs are looking for formulas so that it does not affect players not called up for their countries to be so long without playing. The solution will be to recreate a pre-season and take advantage of playing friendlies in a country where interest in Spanish football is gaining momentum – North America.

It’s the first time that a World Cup has been played in winter, which interrupts club-level competitions for a month. The players in Spain who are called up by national coach Luis Enrique have to be released by their teams as of November 14, leaving him and all the other coaches going to Qatar only one week to prepare for a competition that kicks off on November 21 and finished on December 18.

The players who aren’t selected for Spain (numbering around 350/400) would find themselves unemployed for more than a month. La Liga is working so that the rhythm of the competition is not broken. They have agreed with the Spanish FA (something that doesn’t happen very often!) that once the weekend of November 13 is over, the first round of the Copa del Rey will be played (with the First Division clubs participating, except for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Betis and Valencia being exempt as they’ll compete in the Spanish Super Cup).

Spanish La Liga sides are working to arrange friendlies with local teams from the USA and Mexico. Although it is about organising matches parallel to the World Cup, they will not coincide when World Cup matches are being played.

The Spanish Second Division will carry on as usual as the World Cup barely affects them (only half a dozen players out of more than 500 registered players would leave) and they can expect bigger crowds.

It was announced, again on Thursday, by a couple of websites that 39-year-old Dani Alves, who was released by Barcelona for the second time, has been offered to Real Mallorca. There has been no confirmation about any contact with the Catalan giants from Real Mallorca. Alves has played over 400 games for Barcelona and needs game time to stay in the Brazilian World Cup squad, where he is captain.

AND FINALLY, one Monday morning a postman is doing his normal round delivering mail. As he approaches one of the houses on this estate, he notices that both cars are parked in the driveway. Bob, the homeowner, comes out with a shed-full of empty bottles and starts to fill up the bottle bank. “Wow Bob,” says the postman, “looks like you’ve had one hell of a party last night.” Bob, in some pain, replies “Actually the party was on Saturday night and this is the first time I’ve felt like moving since 4am Sunday morning. We had about 15 couples from around the estate over for a ‘Rave’ and it got a bit wild. In fact, we all got so drunk that we started playing WHO AM I.” The postman’s curious and asks “What’s that all about then?” “Well,” says Bob, “all the guys go into the bedroom and we come out one at a time with a sheet covering us and only our ‘privates’ showing through a hole in the sheet. Then the women have to try and guess who it is.” The postman laughs and says “Damn, I’m really sorry I missed that game.” “Probably just as well,” Bob responds. “Your name came up four or five times!!”