Real Madrid have secured the services of 37-year-old Getafe striker Jorge Molina as an emergency signing after winger Lucas Vazquez was ruled out for five months with a rib injury sustained by a head-butt from coach Zinedine Zidane.
LaLiga authorities gave the go-ahead for the emergency signing after Madrid’s medical team submitted evidence of Vazquez’s injury Monday.
The Spaniard agreed to take one for the team to facilitate the signing, Zidane said, with Los Merengues in need of more goalscoring contributions as they try to keep pace with LaLiga leaders FC Barcelona.
The Frenchman said he made the difficult decision to inflict bodily harm on Vazquez after watching Barcelona’s recent emergency signing Martin Braithwaite contribute two assists towards the Blaugrana’s 5-0 victory over Eibar, and looking on as his own team fired a blank against Levante, losing 0-1.
The emergency signing rule has come under scrutiny ever since Barcelona poached the Danish striker from relegation candidates Leganes.
Braithwaite was signed after Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for six months in what was a truly shocking and completely unforeseen turn of events, given that the former Borussia Dortmund man has no history of injuries whatsoever. This came on the heels of an injury to Luis Suarez, which also caught the Catalans by surprise given that the Uruguayan is only 33 years old and very much in the prime of his footballing youth.
Those injuries came after the Blaugrana carried out the totally reasonable and logical moves to sell talented right-sided attacker Carles Perez to their 2017-18 Champions League vanquishers AS Roma and leave Cedric Bakambu stranded in a Hong Kong airport during the actual transfer window.
“We could sit here and cry ‘mes que un farce’ over what Barcelona did, or we could take a leaf out of their book and run a similar hustle ourselves,” Zidane said.
Zidane revealed that he drew up a list of potential candidates to take the “injury,” but ended up going with his #1 pick.
“It was Lucas, Mariano, Gareth. In that order,” the Frenchman said. “Everybody knows I’d love to see the back of Gareth, but he does score some real shitpinger goals in cup finals which is why I had him down at number three.”
Zidane also expressed wholly genuine and heartfelt sympathy for Vazquez.
“It’s never pleasant to see one of your players suffer an injury, but the blow is softened – pardon the pun – by the fact that it allows us to sign an in-form goalscorer,” Zidane said, his face turning sunset pink as he worked hard to suppress a smile that was in danger of escaping.
“The club thanks Lucas for his valiant sacrifice, only the latest example of the teamwork and selflessness that he embodies.”
As for new signing Molina, Zidane said it’s part of a drive to move towards older players to balance out the age in the squad.
“We have several young players in our squad and out on loan, many of whom are still teenagers,” Zidane said. “We believe that it’s important to even things out by signing players of a more geriatric persuasion, and Jorge, at 37, is perfect for this.”
On that note, the Madrid coach revealed that Real Betis legend Joaquin and A.C. Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, both 38, will be the subject of bids in the summer transfer window, while 52-year-old Yokohama FC striker Kazuyoshi Miura could be brought in to provide mentorship for Japanese prodigy Takefusa Kubo after he returns from his loan stint at Real Mallorca.
The Molina signing, coupled with Barcelona’s capture of Braithwaite, has led to suggestions that Spanish football authorities are looking to scrap the emergency signing rule to protect teams from being pilfered outside the transfer window.
In other news, sources tell Managing Madrid that Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone was seen furiously chasing striker Alvaro Morata in the training ground with a hammer.