With Tottenham apparently quieting its interest, West Ham United are in the pole position to obtain the services of Pablo Fornals. West Ham’s director of football, Mario Husillos, used to be at Malaga and knows Fornals well.
His release clause has been reported at anywhere between €25m and €30m and it looks as though a fee will be agreed somewhere in that range (remember that if a fee is agreed, a sell-on clause and variables can be included as part of the deal, while if one team simply pays the release clause, that does not occur; there are also tax differences between the two in some countries).
Villarreal seem to be trying to take care of transfer business—particularly sales—quickly this summer, trying to avoid protracted transfer sagas like Samu Castillejo’s last year, where he left (and Carlos Bacca arrived) just as the season started, or Soldado the season before that.
Fornals arrived at Villarreal for €12m from Malaga in July 2017 and he signed a five-year deal at the time. Villarreal are pocketing money this off-season—already €16m or more for Sansone and Soriano, and Alfonso Pedraza is reportedly attracting a €15m bid from Eintracht Frankfurt.