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Villarreal closes Bakambu deal; player in Vila-real now!!

EPM reports this almost casually, as the first paragraph of a summary of the Sassuolo friendly. Good news for Villarreal fans as we have an exciting young star.

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El Periodico Mediterraneo reports Cedric Bukambu's agents met yesterday with Sr. Roig in Italy to close his transfer, and as for the player, he's already in Vila-real (as are his agents, who returned with the team).  No other outlet has reported this as yet, but this is published under the byline of José Luis Lizarraga, a very reputable source who is very close to the club, so there is no reason to doubt it.

Bakambu's name was first mentioned in connection with Villarreal a little less than three weeks ago, when a Turkish source reported our interest.  Negotiations with Bursaspor took place over the last couple of weeks, with discussions centering around a transfer fee of between €6 and 8 million.  Evidently those negotiations were concluded satisfactorily, and initial hints were that Bakambu was going to join Villarreal a week ago, but that didn't happen.  Evidently the agreement with Bursaspor was that Bakambu could remain with the team through the Turkish Supercup, which the Green Crocodiles lost to Galatasaray 1-0 yesterday.

It's interesting that he must have 'slipped under the radar' to get into Vila-real.....Soldado can't take a plane to Valencia without getting noticed, but evidently Bakambu can, at least for now.

Of course, as with any signing, there are questions--Bakambu has no experience in Spain, true, but has done very well in Turkey (13 goals last year), and I keep pointing to his experience in France.

Ligue Un is a defensive-minded league, not watched by as many folks as the EPL, Serie A and La Liga; Bakambu played with a fairly dreadful Sochaux team, often at right wing rather than center-forward, but scored 15 goals in two years.  He's certainly gained some recognition: a 'rising star' according to Paris Saint-Germain's website; a member of France's U-19 European championship side.  He also has played well against quality opposition in Ligue 1; this article is a couple of years old but sums him up quite well....speed and a good first touch.

He can even score goals in the snow (just after the one-minute mark in this video), but I doubt he'll face those weather conditions in Spain!