Mallorca's Slovakian goalkeeper Dominik Greif. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


During a week when the Norwegian women’s team coach Martin Sjogren said, after they lost 8-0 to England’s Lionesses “It was the sixth goal that finished us off !” – Real Mallorca are in the Austrian Alps for cooler weather pre-season training in a village called Fulpmes near Innsbruck.

It’s very much a “needs must” Mallorca squad who flew into Munich airport on Thursday with a number of players not expected to be at the club when the season kicks off on Monday August 15 away in Bilbao.

We’re at least five or six players short of anything close to a La Liga outfit with the Spanish transfer market in clear recession. Players like Mboula, Cufre, Lago Junior and Alegria couldn’t even get games for the second division sides they were on loan at last season. However, at least Mexican coach Javier Aguirre will get a good look at players he’s never even seen. Meanwhile back at ground control in Palma, director of football Pablo Ortells scours the market looking for players who will at least be able to compete in top flight Spanish football.

Whilst in Austria, Mallorca will play three friendlies against Polish Club Wieczysta Krakow (Sat 16th), the Qatar national side (Tues 19th) and Italian Serie B team Genoa (Weds 27th). Another friendly has been arranged in Italy against the mighty Napoli on July 31 at 20:30.

There are still murmurings on social media about our lack of signings. All La Liga sides (excluding Real Madrid) are controlling their spending in these early days of the transfer window. For the moment it’s gone quiet with all of the middle/downwards La Liga clubs waiting until the bigger clubs have advanced in their particular pre-season campaigns and they begin to discard players who clubs like us find more interesting – so the name of the game at the moment for us frustrated fans is “have patience!”

The amount spent so far this season in the English Premier League is a whopping 830 million euros, most of that on bang average players. In Spain only 173 million euros have been spent so far.

A few weeks ago I mentioned the fact that the Summer transfer window was akin to a soap opera and with regard to our futile attempts to sign Vedat Muriqi, it’s been just that. We ruled ourselves out of bringing him here after cash-strapped Italian side Lazio held out for an asking price of 12 million euros, which for us was totally unaffordable.

Aware of Muriqi’s wish to make a move here more permanent after a spectacular six months (his contribution of five goals and three assists was key to us surviving in La Liga), plus his charisma among the fans, Ortells took hurried steps to hire him but the cost was just too high. The total amount over four years was reckoned to be around 27 million euros (taking into account 16 euros in salary), an amount our money men described as risky and the amount would likely compromise the design of the club in the coming season.

Belgian club Bruges then made a bid for Muriqi which Lazio accepted and off he went to Belgium. Before he’d put pen to paper he went through a medical which Bruges said he’d failed, much to the consternation of Lazio.

They said there was nothing wrong with him and it was a “ruse from Bruges” (see what I did there ?!) to get the price lowered. Lazio’s president went ballistic and threatened Bruges with a lawsuit involving UEFA inciting non compliance. Exit Muriqi back to Rome from whence he came only to be told on Tuesday the deal was back on !!!

One player who has to come out of the shadows in Austria is goalkeeper Dominik Greif. Weighed down by a mysterious back injury which kept him out for all but a few weeks of last season the “lanky” Slovak ’keeper appeared at the Son Bibiloni training ground last week looking like a different person. He’s reappeared with renewed hope and a huge chance to make the No. 1 goalkeeper spot his own, especially with young Ibiza-born goalkeeper Leo Roman breathing down Greif’s neck after Roman extended his contract to May 2026. Mallorca pushed hard for Greif’s services two years ago, paying three million euros to Bratislava and gave him a long contract until 2026.

Two other players have been mentioned as interesting RCD Mallorca, the first is Dynamo Zagreb’s midfielder Marko Tolic who’s played 60 games in the past two seasons. The 26-year-old Croatian has also appeared in the Europa League on several occasions.

The other player on our radar is 21-year-old Sergio Camello, who’s been called the “pearl of Atletico Madrid’s academy.” The Mundo Deportivo said he was keen to come to Palma on loan as “Atlete’s” coach Simeone wants him to have more game time so as not to hinder his progression. Camello had a brilliant season at La Segunda side Mirandes last term, scoring 15 goals.

As of Thursday, 6,000 season tickets had been renewed, very much on a par with last season at this time. Despite all the whinging about ticket price increases, those people who sit in the sun stand are in for a special treat. The old Sol Baja/Alta has been transformed with fans now sitting a mere 7.5 metres from the pitch, with the Alta now a covered area. Not only that but they’ll have brand new seats to sit on and 12 new turnstiles to enter through, plus catering outlets. We’ll all be part of history as Mallorca are playing in a consecutive season in La Primera for the first time in a decade. What’s not to like, eh ?!

AND FINALLY, with the British Open in progress being played near my neck of the woods in St Andrews, here are a few anecdotes regarding the Royal and Ancient game : (1) The three ugliest words in golf are – still your shot ! (2) Few pleasures on earth match the feeling that comes from making a loud bodily function just as the other guy is about to putt ! (3) I was summoned to appear before the golf club committee for playing off the ladies tee – I explained it was my third shot ! (4) I don’t know who designed the Road Hole at St Andrews but I hear he’s escaped ! (5) Is my friend in the bunker or is the b***ard on the green ? And (6) Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at it !