Malaga miss out on Manduca

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Malaga are stepping up their search for a left-sided midfielder after missing out on main target Jorge Manduca.

The Brazilian had caught the eye whilst playing for Maritimo, prompting Malaga to open negotiations for the 25-year-old.

However, they have been out-muscled by Lisbon giants Benfica who have stepped in to conclude a deal with their Portuguese counterparts.

Malaga have admitted their disappointment at failing to land Manduca (pictured), but insist they have plenty of other irons in the fire.

"We knew that bringing Manduca to the club was going to be difficult, but we are now studying other options which are just as good," stated sporting director Manuel Hierro.

The Andalusian outfit are now believed to have turned their attention to three Spain-based players; Momo, Pedro Vega and Antonio Lopez.

Momo is currently on the books of Deportivo La Coruna but is struggling to break into the first-team picture at The Riazor having not made a single league start this term.

However, Depor have high hopes for the 23-year-old and are only willing to consent to a loan deal, whilst Malaga want a permanent transfer.

Vega has impressed with his displays for Polideportivo Ejido, but the main stumbling block to any deal is the Segunda outfit's asking price of ‚é¼600,000.

Sevilla's Lopez seems a feasible target as he has hardly featured under Juande Ramos, making just one league start this season, and could well fancy a move to kick-start his career.