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Bacca travels to Vila-real for his medical

The deal is done, though terms are not totally clear.

AC Milan Official Training & Press Conference - 2017 International Champions Cup China Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Carlos Bacca has become a Villarreal player, subject to passing his medical, and is on his way to Spain. This deal was closed quite quickly: the terms are still a bit unclear but it appears Villarreal are paying €2.5m as a loan fee and then have a purchase option for €18m at the end of the season.

Whether there are any terms of that ‘option’ that require it to be triggered (for example, if Bacca scores a certain number of goals, appears in a certain number of matches, whatever) is not known.

Bacca was signed by AC Milan for €30m (his buyout clause at the time) from Sevilla two seasons ago, but Milan’s coach Montella has decided he wants to sign Nikola Kalinic from Fiorentina instead, and that deal is probably ready to go through now.

Bacca’s goalscoring prowess is not in doubt: whether in his native Colombia, Belgium, Spain, or Italy, he’s scored in double figures everywhere he’s played. His age (31 on September 8th) might be a concern, though less so if the purchase option is indeed an option; the other concern is his discipline, which has been a problem at times.

When at Sevilla, he operated more in a Soldado-type role; that is, he dropped back into midfield sometimes and was involved in linkup play with players like Kevin Gamiero. When he moved to Milan, he was placed in a more standard center-forward position, which was less successful since he doesn’t have a high work rate off the ball and could become isolated from the other attackers.

Milan, by the way, played him in the center of a 4-3-3. We could see him in that sort of role at Villarreal, or in a 4-4-2. He should be able to train tomorrow with the team (we had Monday and Tuesday off after two matches in two days). Given that Cedric Bakambu is suspended for the Levante match for yellow card accumulation, we may see Bacca go straight into the starting lineup on Monday.

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