Spanish side Valencia look set to beat Premier League clubs Reading and Swansea City to Iago Aspas. The 25-year-old Celta Vigo striker has been in excellent form for the newly promoted La Liga side this term, with eight goals and three assists from 19 starts.
Aspas' form had alerted both Reading and Swansea in recent weeks, with reports also suggesting European champions Chelsea were interested in the Spaniard. The Sun reported earlier that a £5.5m deal between Celta and Chelsea was possible.
Now, however, a report by Soccernet refers to information from Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that says Valencia will trigger the release clause in the player's contract (believed to be worth £8.3m) and offer Aspas a five-year deal. However, based on this report and comments from the player, it would appear the move to the Mestalla will take place in the summer.
"I have read a lot of things saying I was going to go in the winter market, which are not true," Aspas said, adding, "I have said various times that I will be here until June 30 at least. After that we will see what is best for the club and for me."
Chelsea Loan Lucas Piazon
Meanwhile, Chelsea have allowed 18-year-old Brazilian midfielder Lucas Piazon to join Spanish club Malaga on loan. The La Liga club will be able to field the South American youngster in their Champions League campaign since he has not played for the Blues in that competition. Speculation suggests the true significance of loaning Piazon to the La Rosaleda club will emerge in the summer, when the fate of the Spanish clu's 20-year-old playmaker, Isco, could be decided. Premier League champions Manchester City have also been linked to the youngster.
The Daily Mail reports Piazon's loan is likely to be followed by that of German midfielder Marko Marin, also to the Spanish league. The 23-year-old German signed in the summer but injuries and the presence of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar ahead of him have limited playing time.