Luque returns to Spain and signs for Malaga

Spanish Liga club Malaga Sunday signed Albert Luque from Ajax for an undisclosed sum, the club said. ( dpa )

Luque, 30, was also wanted by Racing Santander, but has finally opted for newly-promoted Malaga, where he was on loan from Mallorca nine years ago.

He has failed to set the world alight since leaving Spain in 2005. Luque failed to hold down a regular place first at Newcastle United, then at Ajax.

The Catalan striker started his career at Mallorca in 1998, went on loan to Malaga in 1999, returned to Mallorca then joined Deportivo Coruna in 2002.

Luque was part of the Spain squad at the 2002 World Cup finals and also at Euro 2004.

In other Spanish transfer news, Brazilian midfielder Eduardo Costa has left Espanyol to join Italian club Lecce, and Mikel Balenziaga has joined Athletic Bilbao from second division Real Sociedad.

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