Varela confirms Betis exit

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Mallorca are favourites to sign Fernando Varela after he announced that he would leave Real Betis and the Islanders are also keen to take Maxi Lopez on loan.

The Balearic club are looking to rebuild their squad after staying up thanks to a late run of good form under Gregorio Manzano, who replaced Hector Cuper as coach in February.

Varela was pinpointed as one of the main targets by Mallorca coach Nando Pons and his salary fits within the club's wage structure.

After spending 13 years at Betis, Varela admits that he is sad to leave the club but is keen to play at another club after feeling that he was going stale.

"I am going away happy after playing for six years in the first team," he said. "I have also won a trophy (the 2005 Copa Del Rey) and have played in the Champions League and Uefa Cup for Betis.

"But there comes a time when you need a change and that means moving to a different club. Wherever that may be, Betis will always be in my heart."

After releasing nine players, Mallorca are now keen to recruit and have enquired about Barca back-up striker Maxi Lopez. 

The powerful Argentinian has failed to win a first team place at Camp Nou since joining from River Plate in January 2005.

Maxi refused to be loaned out last summer, but has been told that he will once again have limited opportunities to play regularly next season for Barca.

Mallorca face competition from newly-promoted Gimnastic de Tarragona, Fiorentina and Real Betis for Lopez.