‘I’d be abroad but for Malaga’

Bernd Schuster says it is likely he would be working outside Spain if Malaga had not come knocking at his door.

The German, who has lived in Spain for 25 years, has been charged with constructing the new Malaga, the club having seen its operating budget reduced to €40m for the forthcoming season, but says he is looking forward to the challenge.

“Until Malaga came in for me I saw myself outside Spain. There was a lot of interest from Turkey, Qatar, Russia, Dubai and China.

“Luckily Malaga wanted me and that really pleased me,” he told reporters at Los Blanquiazules’ pre-season training camp in Bitburg, Germany.

However, the former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid player acknowledged that his squad of just 20 professionals needs adding to before the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

“There are two or three positions we need to cover. For example, we only have [Vitorino] Antunes and Jesus Gamez as full-backs, so we must get players for these positions.

“In attack, we are already addressing that issue and I want a squad of 22 or 23 with the rest made up of youngsters.”

Schuster also commented on three veterans of the Malaga squad – Carlos Kameni, Roque Santa Cruz and Julio Baptista.

“Kameni is unreal for his age. It’s a long time since I’ve seen him play but now watching him in training I can remember the times when it was impossible to score a goal against him on his day.

“Roque has really impressed me. It’s very nice to see what we have got with him. He’s always first [on the training pitch] and sets a great example.

“As for Julio, he knows, and I’ve also told him, that we have a problem with his contract and we’ll see if we can help sort it out.”

Finally, he was asked about the possibility of signing central defender Ersan Gulum from his old club Besiktas.

“I’d like him to come. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him and we are talking. He’d help us a lot because he operates in the middle of the back four and has also played at left-back.

“If we signed him we’d have a player that can cover two positions,” he added.

Tags Baptista Besiktas Kameni Santa Cruz Schuster
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