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Everton and Newcastle United's hopes of luring Felipe Caicedo back to the Premier League in the current transfer window have been all but ended after Espanyol agreed a new deal to buy 100% of the rights to the striker. La Liga outfit Espanyol said they had been forced into reacting to the interest of English clubs, also increasing the player's release clause to €35m (£26.7, $38.3m).
Marca reported earlier in January that the Toffees were ready to battle the Magpies for the Ecuador international's signature after he bagged eight goals in his first 23 appearances of the season.
Mundo Deportivo later claimed that Roberto Martinez was set to win the battle, using the money from the sale of Steven Naismith to Norwich City to match Caicedo's €10m release clause. The Catalan publication claimed Caicedo had turned down a lucrative move to China but could be tempted to move to Goodison Park as Everton's financial proposal was "too tempting" to turn down.
But Espanyol have now convinced the player to stay at the club in the long-term, buying 100% of his rights. The player previously owned 50% of them. Espanyol were recently purchased by Chinese magnates and the club see him as a leader for their new financial era.
"RCD Espanyol have reached an agreement with the Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo to get the 100% of his rights. As a result of this agreement the clause of the player has increased to €35m," the club confirmed in a statement.
"Caicedo, who had recently extended his contract until 30 June 2019, has received a number of offers during the January window and the club have decided accordingly."
Espanyol's new owner, Chen Yansheng, said earlier this month that he wanted Caicedo to remain at the club. He also promised the team Champions League football within three years.
"I am sure the city of Barcelona can have two strong clubs," said Chen, adding that he hopes "to have the club debt-free and in the Champions League in three years," after finalising his purchase of a controlling 54% stake.