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Villarreal ‘in talks’ over shock return deal after missing out on key transfer target

This would be the surprise of the summer

Fc Twente v Ajax - Dutch Eredivisie Photo by Dennis Bresser/Soccrates/Getty Images

Villarreal are in talks with Ajax goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli over a shock return to the club this summer.

The World Cup winner departed in January, joining Ajax in a move for around eight million euros, plus two million in addons, and Villarreal were yet to replace him.

The club persisted with Pepe Reina throughout the second half of last season, and the intention was always to buy a new number one this summer.

Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic was linked, but he recently completed a transfer from Dinamo Zagreb to Fenerbahce, and Villarreal missed out on a top target.

Now, it seems that Rulli could make a shock return as Villarreal’s ‘new’ number one, in a move that may not please many.

A report has revealed that Rulli is very keen on a return to the club, just months after becoming Ajax’s number one, in a surprising turn of events.

Although Rulli was front and centre of arguably Villarreal’s biggest moment, saving a crucial penalty from David De Gea in the shootout to win the Europa League in 2021, his return would be somewhat underwhelming.

At 31, he may not be a long term option, and his frequent errors both in shot-stopping and with the ball at his feet meant that there weren’t too many complaints when he initially departed.

Quique Setien’s side could take a fresh approach with regards to their back line, with a new goalkeeper and some new defenders to improve on the defence which saw them concede 40 league goals last season, Rulli coming back would be completely uninspiring.

Furthermore, with Pau Torres now gone, Rulli would not have the Spain international to help bring composure and top-class ball-playing ability to the back line. With Rulli often struggling with the ball at his feet, this may be a recipe for disaster.

It remains to be seen whether Villarreal will end up striking a deal to bring him back, but after missing out on Livakovic, the club might turn to a familiar face as their goalkeeper for the coming season.