Morgado: Manninger decision up to him
By Francisco Acedo
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
ESPANYOL'S technical director Sergio Morgado has revealed that the club are not trying to facilitate the exit of Alex Manninger from Montjuic, but admitted the Austrian keeper was having trouble settling in.
Juande Ramos, Espanyol's coach is believed to have targeted a full back as his team's top priority, with a playmaker his second choice and it would appear that Manninger could be discarded as a cost-cutting measure.
Manninger has been told that Juande Ramos did not want a new keeper, which seems unlikely given the Barcelona side had been chasing one all season and were furious to lose out on Robert Enke, who decided to go to Camp Nou instead.
Speaking exclusively to Planetfootball.com, Morgado said: "He (Manninger) hasn't adapted to the team.
"He has come from abroad and perhaps needs time to settle in."
Morgado denied that Espanyol were trying to send Manninger back to Arsenal, saying: "When we bought him it was because he could do well playing in the Spanish league.
"The decision to quit Spain is entirely in his hands."
A meeting between Manninger's representatives and Espanyol's directors has taken place this week, with the club wanting to know if the custodian wants to stay and fight for his place or whether he would prefer to leave.
Espanyol are also understood to be furious with Arsenal, as The Gunners are believed not to have registered the transfer officially, the reason why the Catalans have not paid Arsene Wenger's side.
When asked if Espanyol would look elsewhere for another keeper if Manninger went, Morgado replied: "Sergio, of Atletico Madrid is interesting. But we'll see soon."
Meanwhile, Juventus' Fabian Carini is being linked in the Spanish press to Espanyol as a possible replacement for Manninger.