Martin Demichelis says that Malaga’s decision to sell Nacho Monreal in January was ‘a bad sign’ for the team’s ambitions this season and beyond.
Monreal was sent to Arsenal in a €13m deal on the final day of the winter transfer market, midway through a season that has been full of financial insecurity at the Costa del Sol club.
Coach Manuel Pellegrini, however, has stayed on through the campaign and has encouraged the players to do the same.
“I do not think that Manuel Pellegrini has lied at some point or that he is responsible for the uncertainty about what will happen with our future,” reflected Demichelis at today’s Press conference, when asked if he felt mislead by the Chilean tactician.
“There are things that the fans and players raise questions over because we want to maintain an important project, and obviously the first to be responsible at the players for getting the wins and having a good season.
“If the club consider that the project will succeed, selling Monreal on the last day of the transfer window hurt me personally. It does not mean that we are unhappy with Antunes, who has surprised me for one.
“I am saying it was Monreal but it could have been anyone. Instead of thinking of further improving or maintaining the current situation, the possibility of selling players is there.
“And I think that the next one to be sold will be isco soon or in the short term, for he is the one with the most potential in sales.
“Hopefully this group stays together, strengthened, that the ideas of the owners are that Malaga does not fade, but continues to grow.
“It is not for me to talk about club policy, because I do not know. But in the dressing room, selling Monreal was a bad sign. Now we are responsible for keeping the team in the European positions.
“But at the season’s end, those responsible for signs of life will be the owners. Hopefully we can go to Porto next week and continue to demonstrate that we want to stay at the top.”
Before Porto in the Champions League comes Saturday’s trip to Real Valladolid.
“None of the players will be thinking about Wednesday’s match when we get to Valladolid. We’ll be doing whatever it takes to ensure our concentration remains on the League match, and not focusing at all on Wednesday’s game until after Saturday.
“Losing in Valladolid would be a crushing blow for us, which could throw some doubt over our performance on Wednesday. We’ll be doing everything we can to come home with a victory this weekend.
“We’re well aware of the importance of a win this weekend, as the number of direct rivals all vying for European places in the League is extremely tight.
“Last weekend’s results fortunately went in our favour, but we need to win this match in order to stay in fourth place.
“Manuel Pellegrini always drives home the fact that maintaining possession and playing as well as possible is paramount. I hope we enjoy the match on Saturday, but above all we defend well, keep control of the ball and impede our rival’s goal chances.”
Speculation continues to link Demichelis with an exit in the summer at the expiry of his contract. River Plate have already commented on their wish to re-sign him and Javier Saviola.
“They know that both mine and Javier Saviola’s contracts are up at the end of the season, and they’ve mentioned that they’d like us to go back.
“I’ve never said I’m moving back to River, or received a pre-contract or anything similar. I’ll make the decision at the end of the season, but there’s a lot to play for with Malaga and my priority, and what interests me most now, is Malaga.
“When a player has an important decision to make, many factors come into play, and the most important thing for me is to focus on what Malaga can do in the future.”