Coach Javier Aguirre. | Archives

After a week when some of football’s biggest names are revealing themselves to be shameless mercenaries – Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema is the latest superstar to ply his waning talents in Saudi Arabia, reportedly getting £86 million a season playing in front of an average home crowd of just 30,000! – Real Mallorca’s president Andy Kohlberg said after we won promotion from La Segunda in 2020 that the club’s intentions were to get into the top ten of La Liga in the next few seasons. That prediction came true in the campaign just completed as the Palma side amassed a fantastic 50 points, finishing in ninth place.

Real Mallorca’s objective as always was to stay in La Liga and we did that comfortably with four games to spare. We achieved 10 victories at home, beating sides like Real Madrid and Atletico on the way and finished the season with 12 clean sheets.

Now it’s the turn of the sports management team headed by Pablo Ortells and seconded by Aritz Aduriz to get to work tobuild a higher quality squad than the season just gone. There are at least 10 or 12 players in the current set-up who will probably be pushing the “salida” door, either because of a lack of talent or because they haven’t pulled up any trees when they were called on to do a job.

With 64-year-old Mexican coach Javier Aguirre signing on for another season, there’s plenty of time for transfers to take place. The Spanish Summer transfer window officially starts on Monday, July 3, and closes at 11 pm on Friday September 1.

The list of players who look likely to leave is long. Galarreta is heading home to Bilbao, Angel is the same, going back to Tenerife. Augustinsson, Hadzikadunic, Kadewere and maybe Nastasic, all on loan last season, will be free to leave and Abdon Prats, no matter how much the fans love him, isn’t a natural replacement for Vedat Muriqi. Our American owners have put their money where their mouths are.

Last Summer we signed Pablo Maffeo (a few clubs are already on his case) and goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic (who alongside Raillo and Muriqi are the backbone of the team). Muriqi with 15 goals has, alongside Kang In Lee, been our best player and without their partnership Mallorca may find scoring goals not so easy next term. Kang In Lee has been just sensational but sadly he now wants to take a step forward, ready to play for a team competing in a European competition.

Mallorca will experience a considerable increase in economic income – double that of last season – for finishing ninth in La Liga. The law establishes that 25% of the distribution of TV rights is based on sports results. All this economic boost will help the club to continue their project in top flight Spanish football.

So, who’s on the agenda to come in during the Summer? One of the big signings could be Espanyol’s midfielder Sergi Darder. He comes from the same town as Abdon Prats – Arta – but has never played as a kid for Real Mallorca. Instead he went to newly-relegated Espanyol where he’s become a bit of a legend. Signing him will not be easy as his release clause is high, however, his price will drop after relegation. Other bigger clubs in Spain are keen to get Darder’s signature but Mallorcca are hoping the sentimental aspect, including his desire to play for Mallorca and come back home, could sway proceedings.

Mallorca are also allegedly in negotiations with the Canarian Omar Mascarell who has told Elche he wants to leave. He has a contract until 2025 but with Elche relegated his release clause will only be 500,000 euros. 30-year-old Mascarell started at Real Madrid “C” and has played in England for Derby County in 2014/15. He then had several years in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke 04. So he’s not short of big-time football experience.

The other player on our radar is Canadian international Cyle Larin. He would be our second striker and becomes available as his last club, Valladolid, went down last Sunday. Another possible attacker is Elche’s Pere Milla who we tried to bring in last January. There’ve also been rumours that Atletico Madrid want Kang In Lee before some of the big-hitting Premier league sides make a higher bid.
If that move came to fruition we could well get some top class young players on loan as part of the deal. Atletico realise (as we did) with Kang In Lee on board sponsorship in the Far East will bring in lots of added revenue.

PS Fellow Mallorquinista Charles Nutter from Pollensa was telling me that he recently tried to buy some English football paraphernalia online. One of the obligatory fields was to tick one of three boxes stating whether he was (a) male, (b) female or (c) I’d rather not say?!