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Villarreal race against the clock to sign Amine Harit

Unai Emery’s side takes transfer deadline day right down to the wire.

SV Werder Bremen v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Boy this is out of the blue. Amine Harit, 23 year old attacking midfielder from Schalke, has rather suddenly been linked with a signing at Villarreal. Apparently there is a race against the clock to see if we can secure the services for the player.

Unlike other options we have been linked with, Harit is not a pure winger, though he has played out wide on occasion. He has primarily played a central attacking role, which I guess would mean that his signing pushes Manu Trigueros out wide? In general, he’s a rather good player despite playing for a Schalke team that is just having an absolutely miserable year.

Javi Mata may give us official news to the contrary right as I post this, but I have to think this is a loan with some kind of buy option/obligation. I don’t see us having the funds on hand to make this deal permanent right away and I can’t see Schalke letting him go without having some sort of assurance of a payoff. Despite being one of the biggest clubs in Germany, they are looking at a serious likelihood of relegation and they would want as many resources on hand as possible to get right back up.

I am not sure this signing would address the issues we’ve had in terms of speed of buildup play. He’s not a winger and with Gerard coming back from injury it is unclear to me how we would fit Harit, Trigueros, Moi, and Gerard all into a side, or who would be the casualty that gets dropped. Nonetheless, the player is very gifted and could be essential depth as we press on in three competitions.