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All change in attack for Villarreal as Gerard leaves

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Looks as though today could be a major news day, with a number of moves that have been in process finally becoming finalized.

Farewell Gerard.
Farewell Gerard.
David Rogers/Getty Images

Today's news:

Gerard Moreno was not at training, agreement has been reached with Espanyol for his transfer.  €1.5million for 50% of his rights apparently; what is not known is whether the parakeets agreed to our demand that he had to be sold of a €5-6m offer came in (as was in the Eric Bailly contract; talk about rubbing salt in the wound).  Gerard pretty much forced this move; he's Catalan, from a Barcelona suburb, so is going home where he can be a regular starter.

Cedric Bakambu has still not been officially announced as a Villarreal player, but surely must be soon, as he retweets yet more Turkish fans' messages of good luck in Spain.  Five-year deal, apparently, €7m transfer fee.  No idea what the holdup is, unless it is just processing paperwork?

And speaking of twitter, Eric Lamela kind of let the cat out of the bag when he posted a tweet thanking Roberto Soldado for their time together and wishing him well in his new club (he since deleted it!).  Soldado did fly from Gatwick to Spain and a deal with Villarreal appears imminent.  It could be a loan with required purchase, I suppose, but is more likely to be a straight buy I would think since we clearly have the money and no Financial Fair Play restrictions.

Opinion is divided on this site and in the fan base about whether spending big for a 30 year-old striker, who you're unlikely to be able to move on for a significant fee, is a good deal.  It is a gamble, BUT we now have a player who in theory could bang in 20 goals for us.  At the start of last season, we didn't believe we had that (remember, Vietto had hardly appeared in the preseason).

Has there ever been a team that has made so many changes in attack from one season to another?  All four of last season's strikers, gone.  Attacking players Cheryshev, Moi, Campbell, Cani, all gone; Espinosa apparently not part of Marce's plans either.  And Jony, returned from loan, surely moving on again as soon as the striker slots are officially filled.

If we get any more concrete news about any of these transfers, we'll post ASAP.