Real Mallorca manager Javier Aguirre, at the age of 64, is not short of anecdotes, and with his typical sense of humour, he brought out a topical one – the mammoth contract offer from Saudi Arabia.
An array of footballers have been tempted to Saudi shores by the copious amounts of oil-coloured cash over the past 12 months, and no doubt many more have considered making the move too. Speaking on Cadena SER, Aguirre was asked if he had ever gotten the call from the Middle East.
“You remember when they had Frank Rijkaard in charge, before that they called me, and we went to Madrid and we sat down with them. I kept saying no, but the thing is every time I did, they kept upping the offer. It got to a quantity of money that was irrejectable.”
Why did he turn it down then, was the obvious next question. ‘They say to you a blank cheque, a wee season at Al Nassr with Cristiano, and you say no?’
“My wife said you can go to Saudi Arabia alone, and you can ask for the divorce while you’re at it,” he boomed, “I’m better off in Palma [Mallorca] with her.”
Aguirre was in typically good form, in spite of the tough sledding he has experienced this season. The Mexican manager has just lost star striker Vedat Muriqi for the next four to six weeks through injury, and must now extract the goals expected of summer signing Cyle Larin. Mallorca know that if either of Granada or Celta Vigo win their matches this weekend, and they do not pick up points away to Atletico Madrid, then they will slide into the relegation zone.