Swiss striker Seferovic at Real Sociedad in 2020.Lorenzo - ms | EFE

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During a week when I was discussing with friends about what, in tennis doubles, do the players whisper to each other about after every point – my two suggestions were (1) Do you still want pineapple chunks on your pizza tonight and (2) Would you like a cheesy naan with your Jalfrezi ? – Real Mallorca, 47 days after the explosion of joy and relief with a 0-2 win away at Osasuna, started their footballing engines again on Wednesday at the Son Bibiloni training ground when pre-season 2022/23 got underway under the watchful eye of 63-year-old Mexican coach Javier Aguirre.

It’s been a month and a half of disconnection as batteries are recharged after an exhausting campaign when RCD Mallorca survived another season in top flight Spanish football by the skin of their teeth.

The hard work for all concerned with the well-being of the team now begins with, once again, the sole objective being to consolidate the Palma side’s status in La Liga. We’ve lost the backbone of last season’s team with valued players like Reina, Salva Sevilla and Olivan, in addition to those on loan such as Take Kubo or Vedat Muriqi.

Ahead of the squad and back-room staff is almost a month and a half of preparation before our big kick off away at San Mames against At. Bilbao scheduled for Monday August 15. In between, we go to Austria for 11 days’ cooler weather training in the Alps where we’ll play three friendly matches before returning to the island, where we’ll have a “kick about” against La Segunda side Sporting Gijon at the end of the month.

Twenty-four players are expected to make the trip to the Tyrol, although the squad is light years away from being anywhere near the finished article with only one new player, 22-year-old midfielder Jose Manual Arias “Copete,” putting pen to paper on a four-year deal from Ponferradina.

Lots of fans on social media have been having a moan about our lack of movement in the transfer market but the transfer window only opened a week ago and the importance of balancing the club’s accounts before the end of the financial year (June 30), which determines our salary limits, put off many possible deals until now.

A minimum of seven or eight new signings have to be made as director of football Pablo Ortells tries to increase the standard of players in a new season that looks to be even more demanding than last.

We’re desperately short of a goalkeeper who can come in at the start of the season and who has the knowledge and know-how about Spanish football. Our defence looks to be covered but midfield is as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard (one for the teenagers !).

Salva Sevilla’s guile and artistry will be sorely missed and very difficult to replace. Battaglia, who only came into prominence towards the end of the season when Aguirre had him on from the start of games, has gone back to parent club Sporting Lisbon and the highly talented Basque Galarreta is recovering from knee surgery. Only Baba remains as a pivot, as our engine room needs beefing up with quality.

Salva’s departure leaves the team without an ammunition provider in midfield. Aguirre is more than aware that someone with Salva’s leadership skills will be hard to replicate and a lot is expected from French international Clement Grenier.

The jury’s still out on him. What we also need next season is for Dani Rodriguez to get back to his scintillating box to box play. The Galician lost his starting status towards the end of the season as his form dipped although his importance in the team is undeniable.

As usual, it’s up front where our problems arise. With the Muriqi soap opera at an end, after it was reported he’s on his way to Belgian league winners Club Brugge for 10.5 million euros, Ortells’ striking option list is whittling down to three or four. A name came up on Wednesday who seems to fit our striking requirements.

The club are reportedly negotiating a loan deal with a purchase option for 30-year-old Swiss international (although born in Bosnia) Haris Seferovic.

The Swiss striker joins the names of Turkish league stars Mostafa Mohamed and Serdar Dursun on the shopping list. Seferovic has been described as a “monster” and “a full-blooded centre forward” with a strong physical presence in the 18 yard box. He’s no stranger to Spanish football, but had an indifferent season at Real Sociedad in 2020.

AND FINALLY, HANDY HINTS FOR RENT-A-CAR DRIVERS

As we're now well into the silly season on Mallorca, “Fan's View” has been given a list of helpful hints on driving on the island.

1. If you intend to exit right from a major road, do not make the mistake of travelling in the righthand lane. Double parked cars, Bimbo bread vans or Coca Cola lorries will impede your progress.

2. Watch out for vehicles, especially on the Via Cintura, suddenly crossing several lanes in order to turn left or right. Also be aware that local motorists exiting roundabouts are very unlikely to use their indicators.

3. Never, ever, stop when a light turns red. This over-zealous attitude to road safety will only lead to the car behind you hitting you.

4. A pedestrian strolling across a zebra crossing will invariably be a tourist or a local with a death wish.

5. In the absence of a parking space, park anywhere. If you can park halfway on the pavement and half on a bus stop this is a major fashion statement, especially if you have an expensive foreign car and finally,

6. Keep the horn well serviced. Its main use is for reminding drivers in front that the lights may be about to change to green.

Above all, enjoy your holiday.