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REAL MADRID

Malaga midfielder Isco mulls high profile offers

Malaga midfielder Isco has had offers from Manchester City and Real Madrid to leave the Andalusian club in the coming weeks, he revealed in comments published on Monday.

The Spaniard has followed up a stellar season with Malaga as they reached the Champions League quarter-finals with a starring role as the Spanish under-21 side reached the final of the European Championships in Israel.

Asked if he already had received offers from City and Madrid, the 21-year-old, whose full name is Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez but who who goes by the name of Isco admitted he had.

"They are on the table, yes," he was quoted as saying by Spanish sports daily AS.

"They are the two propositions on the table. I hope to decide soon because I still have a contract with Malaga.

"I know that both Manchester City and Real Madrid are great clubs. I want that whatever happens will be the best for me and for Malaga."

City finally confirmed last week that Isco's old boss at Malaga, Manuel Pellegrini, had been appointed as the club's new manager.

However, despite recently describing the Chilean coach as his "footballing father", Isco claimed that Pellegrini's arrival in Manchester would not be a decisive factor in where he moves.

"It is true that I already know Pellegrini, I know how he works and he has been fundamental in my career in the two years I have been at Malaga with him," he added.

"It is a point in favour that we have already been together and I know how he works but it is not definitive."

A decision could even be made this week with the player's commitments with the under-21 side due to finish after Tuesday's final against Italy.

Isco scored 12 goals in all competitions for Malaga last season as "Los Boquerones" finished sixth.

But they have been banned from taking part in next season's Europa League because of a one-season UEFA ban for not paying debts owed to employees, other clubs and tax authorities on time.

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TECHNOLOGY

Malaga to trial Spain’s first self-driving bus

Spain’s first self-driving bus will begin to take public passengers from this Saturday, February 20th.

Malaga to trial Spain's first self-driving bus
Image: Largeroliker / WikiCommons

Created as part of the AutoMOST R + D + I project in participation with Avanza bus company and Malaga City Council, the 12-metre electric bus features autonomous driving technology and will be a revolutionary addition to the transport system.

The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, companied by the president of the Port of Malaga Authority, Carlos Rubio, and the general director of Avanza, Valentin Alonso were the first to ride in this driverless bus.

Mayor de la Torre said “Malaga has been a pioneer in creating ways to improve life in the city”. “We were also the first city to implement contactless cards on buses,” he added.

The self-driving bus is the first of its kind to circulate in real traffic and will be in operation on line 90 from the Maritime Station in the port area to the Paseo del Parque in the front of the City Hall.

Malaga will become the first European city to implement this new autonomous driving technology in a bus, which is also environmentally friendly, run fully on electricity and which produces zero emissions.

The city council said in a statement that this move reinforces Malaga’s commitment to sustainable mobility and the use of new technologies adapted to transport.

In previous projects, self-driving tests have only been carried out using smaller vehicles, not the standard 12-metre buses that are in daily circulation around the city.

12-metre buses are the world standard, so in theory it will be possible to implement this same type of technology in other models of the same size around the world.

In order for the technology to work, Malaga City Council has invested 180,000 euros in smart traffic lights, which communicate with the bus telling it when to go and stop.

Initially the self-driving bus will run for three weeks, but the traffic lights will remain in place, allowing for the implementation of other self-driving systems in the future, such as driverless cars.

For the next three weeks, residents can ride the self-driving bus completely free of charge. It will operate from Saturday February 20th to March 13th, from Tuesdays to Saturdays 9:30am to 2:30pm.

You can book a ticket on the bus in advance by visiting www.emtmalaga.es

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