Malaga in Champions League alarm

Malaga are in danger of being excluded from the Champions League next season over unpaid debts, reports Sport.

The Costa del Sol club could lose their place in the competition after Villarreal complained to European football’s governing body UEFA about the non-payment of €3.5m in VAT for the transfer of Santi Cazorla.

In addition, Los Blanquiazules have another demand pending regarding money for the signing of Spain international left-back Ignacio Monreal from Osasuna, while former owners the Sanz family are still allegedly waiting for an instalment due on July 27.

Malaga, who in recent days have been the subject of rumours concerning a possible takeover by an Albanian oil magnate, have until midnight on Tuesday to come up with the necessary payments or face possible action.

Boss Manuel Pellegrini [pictured]acknowledged this week that the players have been affected by the off-the-pitch problems.

“We are focused on sporting matters, but when there are so many rumours it is obvious that the team is affected, especially considering we are not in Spain,” he was quoted as saying by AS on the club’s pre-season tour to Venezuela.

“But we are calm because we have been working very well. I will wait until we return to Spain to see which rumours are right and which rumours are not.

“We are trying to distance ourselves from that subject but the truth is that until we know for sure what is going on, it is best not to say anything.”

UEFA are usually straightforward in making disciplinary decisions of this nature, having excluded Real Mallorca from the Europa League two years ago as they owed money to other clubs.

If Malaga were to be excluded from the Champions League then the club that benefits will be Atletico Madrid, who finished two points and one place behind the Andalusians last term.

Tags Manuel Pellegrini