Dani Parejo has joined Villarreal on a four-year contract, leaving rivals Valencia where he was captain.

The transfer became the second between the two clubs to go through on Wednesday, with Parejo following Francis Coquelin to El Madrigal - reportedly for a cut-price combined fee of just €13million.

Valencia have already sold Ferran Torres to Manchester City in recent weeks and pressure appears to be building on owner Peter Lim.

Club great Santiago Canizares questioned "the sale of your two best midfielders", with new head coach Javi Gracia yet to take charge of a competitive fixture.

Parejo played 383 times for Valencia since signing from Getafe in 2011 and had spoken of wanting to retire at the club despite reports of his looming departure.

However, Torres, following his move to City, said Parejo "wasn't a good captain with me".

"He's a great player but I never had a relationship with him," winger Torres said of the 31-year-old.

Valencia released a short statement as Parejo's departure was confirmed, thanking the player for "all his effort and commitment", echoing the response to Coquelin's move.

Villarreal have completed the signing of Francis Coquelin from rivals Valencia, with Dani Parejo seemingly set to follow.

Former Arsenal midfielder Coquelin has signed a four-year deal with Villarreal, having spent two and a half seasons with Valencia, winning the 2018-19 Copa del Rey.

It is anticipated Parejo, the Valencia skipper, will join his team-mate in making the short trip to El Madrigal.

Parejo had previously spoken of retiring at Valencia but was subsequently criticised by new Manchester City signing Ferran Torres.

Villarreal have completed the loan signing of Takefusa Kubo from Real Madrid.

The 19-year-old Japan international is yet to feature for Madrid's first team in a competitive fixture, having signed last year before sealing a temporary switch to Real Mallorca.

Kubo played 35 times in LaLiga this season, scoring four goals.

The former FC Tokyo prospect could soon be joined by further new arrivals, meanwhile, as Villarreal reportedly close on a deal for Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin.

Valencia skipper Parejo last month said he wanted to retire with Los Che despite talk of a departure, although his captaincy was subsequently criticised by the outgoing Ferran Torres.

It is said Villarreal would pay rivals Valencia €13million for the midfield pair.

Could Paulo Dybala swap Italy for Spain?

The Juventus attacker was close to leaving Juventus for either Manchester United or Tottenham prior to the 2019-20 season, while Paris Saint-Germain were also linked.

Now, Real Madrid are reportedly targeting the 26-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – KROOS OUT, DYBALA IN?

Real Madrid are set to offer Toni Kroos or Isco as part of a deal to bring Juventus star Paulo Dybala to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to SportMediaset.

LaLiga champions Madrid are eyeing a move for Dybala, who has been in negotiations with Serie A titleholders Juve over a new contract amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Juve are unwilling to part with the Argentina international – who enjoyed a fine Serie A campaign prior to Maurizio Sarri's sacking as he looks ahead to life under Andrea Pirlo.

ROUND-UP

- Kicker claims Jadon Sancho has told Borussia Dortmund he is happy to stay at the club if a blockbuster transfer to Manchester United fails to materialise. The England international has been heavily tipped to join United, with personal terms reportedly agreed.

Barcelona want to sign Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, reports The Telegraph. The LaLiga giants are eyeing a cash-plus-player deal to try to prise the Portugal international to Camp Nou.

- Premier League champions Liverpool are poised to sign Olympiacos left-back Kostas Tsimikas, according to widespread reports. Having failed to strike a deal with Norwich City for Jamal Lewis, Liverpool are close to prising Tsimikas from the Greek powerhouse. Meanwhile, The Sun says Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are targeting a shock £35million swoop for Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks.

- The front page of Monday's edition of Marca says Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane must sell before he is able to sign players ahead of the 2020-21 season. Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are two players unwanted in the Spanish capital as Madrid continue to be linked with the likes of PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe, Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga.

- AS Diario reports Villarreal are on the verge of signing Valencia pair Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin. Valencia captain Parejo and team-mate Coquelin have been told they are free to leave Mestalla.

Napoli have joined the race to sign Madrid full-back Sergio Reguilon claims Sky Sport Italia. On loan at Sevilla, Reguilon has been linked to Chelsea and Everton.

- According to Calciomercato, Inter are interested in Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. However, salary demands may prove problematic amid talk of a swap deal involving Inter defender Milan Skriniar.

Dani Parejo says he would like to retire at Valencia amid speculation he has been put up for sale by the LaLiga club.

It has been rumoured that Valencia owner Peter Lim will conduct a dramatic overhaul of the squad during the close-season, with 31-year-old Parejo one of the players to be offloaded.

Captain Parejo joined the club in 2011 and, while conceding that anything can happen in football, says he is not looking for a way out of the club.

"I am happy in Valencia," he told Radio Marca. "It is a great city and my family are perfectly happy here.

"I've been at this club for nine years and it is my home, I really feel that. I have two years left on my contract and I'd like to retire at Valencia.

"But football is football and you never know what might happen. But, for me, Valencia is the most important to me right now."

Valencia ended the 2019-20 season in ninth, three points away from a Europa League qualification spot. 

Manchester United have had no problem scoring goals amid their 19-match unbeaten streak across all competitions.

However, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still desperate to sign Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho.

And Sancho is reportedly ready to make the move to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED STEP UP SANCHO CHASE

Manchester United are close to signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho , according to The Sun.

Sancho has been tipped to leave Dortmund for United amid links to Liverpool , Chelsea , Bayern Munich and Real Madrid .

Despite United's ongoing battle for Champions League qualification, Sancho wants to move to Old Trafford at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus are not only in discussions with Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik as the Serie A holders look to replace Gonzalo Higuain. Calciomercato says Juve have started speaking to the entourage of Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette , who has also been linked to Atletico Madrid .

- Marca reports Manchester City are determined to sign Valencia star Ferran Torres but they are unwilling to pay over the odds. Torres has a release clause of €100million (£90m), which has deterred Real Madrid and Barcelona , though City are only prepared to spend a fixed amount of €35m (£31m).

- According to Kicker, either David Alaba decides to extend his Bayern Munich contract or he will be sold before becoming a free agent in 2021. Alaba has been linked to the likes of City and Paris Saint-Germain .

- Radio Taronja claims Atletico and Sevilla both want to sign Valencia captain Dani Parejo . The 31-year-old midfielder has reportedly been told he can leave Valencia.

- There is a total agreement for Ralf Rangnick to take over from Stefano Pioli as Milan head coach in 2020-21, according to journalist Nicolo Schira. The German will arrive on a three-year deal.

Napoli's pursuit of Lille star Victor Osimhen is proving problematic. Tipped to join Napoli, L'Equipe claims Lille are unwilling to accept Adam Ounas as part of the deal for the Nigeria forward. Now, Il Mattino says United are interested, while SportItalia and Tuttomercatoweb are among the outlets to point to Premier League champions Liverpool .

Lazio have approached Madrid to sign forward Borja Mayoral , says Sky Sport Italia. The 23-year-old has spent the past two years on loan at Levante.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is ready to leave Lazio for a new challenge, claims Tuttosport. PSG have been tipped to sign the Serbia international, while the likes of Chelsea , United , Madrid , Juve and Inter have been previously linked.

Serie A strikers Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile lead the line in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

Lukaku and Immobile are two of the form front men in European football, and the duo have earned recognition following their latest goalscoring exploits.

Inter striker Lukaku grabbed both goals in a 2-0 away win at Udinese on Sunday.

And Immobile matched that haul as Lazio thrashed SPAL 5-1, the Italy international's brace taking his 2019-20 league tally to 25 already.

The duo are far from the only big names in this week's selection, however, with Roberto Firmino, Jadon Sancho and Hugo Lloris also among the new in-form cards.

Find the full squad below.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) - 89

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) - 87

LB: Alex Telles (Porto) - 87

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 84

CM: Daniel Parejo (Valencia) - 88

RM: Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - 88

CAM: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 87

CM: Santi Cazorla (Villarreal) - 86

CF: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) - 88

ST: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) - 90

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) - 88

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Steve Mandanda (Marseille) - 83

CB: Kaan Ayhan (Fortuna Dusseldorf) - 81

RM: Robert Snodgrass (West Ham) - 81

ST: Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo) - 84

RW: Daniel Ginczek (Wolfsburg) - 82

ST: Kasper Dolberg (Nice) - 81

LW: Oussama Idrissi (AZ) - 81

RESERVES

CM: Alexandru Maxim (Gaziantep) - 79

CM: Alexandru Cicaldau (Universitatea Craiova) - 78

LM: Ahmet Engin (Duisburg) - 76

LM: Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) - 74

LW: Said Benrahma (Brentford) - 80

Daniel Wass scored a fortuitous and crucial late equaliser for Valencia to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Chelsea on Wednesday in a thrilling contest that left Champions League Group H wide open.

Frank Lampard's men had looked on course to leave Mestalla with the victory that would have clinched their spot in the knockout phase after Christian Pulisic's go-ahead strike was added to by a Kepa Arrizabalaga penalty save, but Wass' effort led to a share of the spoils.

A dramatic, end-to-end first half saw both sides threaten regularly and, despite some wretched finishing, two goals in as many minutes from Carlos Soler and Mateo Kovacic – his first for Chelsea – meant the score was level at the interval.

Everything looked to be going Chelsea's way after Pulisic struck and Kepa parried Dani Parejo's penalty, but Wass' right-wing cross rather fortunately went straight in with eight minutes left to rescue Valencia, who would have won it but for an inexcusable stoppage-time miss by Rodrigo. 

 

A stunning 30-yard strike from Geoffrey Kondogbia highlighted Valencia's 4-1 come-from-behind Champions League Group H victory against Lille on Wednesday.

Victor Osimhen gave Lille a first-half lead but a 66th-minute penalty from Valencia captain Dani Parejo completely changed the complexion of the match.

Parejo's panenka finish was followed by an unfortunate Adama Soumaoro own goal and Kondogbia then whipped the Mestalla crowd into a frenzy with an incredible effort from long distance.

Ferran Torres soon made it three goals in the last 10 minutes for the hosts, the substitute's well-taken finish capping an outstanding second-half performance from Albert Celades' men.

Osimhen's opener was thanks to the sharp closing down of Benjamin Andre, who blocked Parejo's pass and watched the ricochet fall invitingly for the goalscorer.

The Lille striker still had plenty to do but he was too quick for both Gabriel Paulista and Ezequiel Garay before composing himself and shooting through the legs of Valencia goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Valencia gradually worked their way back into the contest, and only a pair of terrific saves from Mike Maignan denied Rodrigo Moreno an equaliser just before the break.

Yusuf Yazici had a great chance to double Lille's lead in the 53rd minute, but shot straight at Cillessen after good work down the left from Osimhen, and it was a miss the visitors would come to regret.

Valencia were awarded a spot-kick after Jose Fonte handled Rodrigo's cross and Parejo showed nerves of steel to level in audacious fashion.

Pressing hard for a winner, Valencia took the lead in the 82nd minute when Jose Gaya's cross was turned in, via the inside of the post, by Soumaoro.

And that opened the floodgates, Kondogbia producing a sublime effort before Torres wrapped up the win with a smart finish on the angle.

 

What does it mean? A three-horse race for progression

Valencia's win - and Chelsea's 4-4 draw with Ajax - means all three sides have seven points after four Group H games.

An exciting race for the two last-16 spots is now on the cards, while Lille remain at the foot of the group with just one point.

A moment of pure joy

Kondogbia had not scored since February but this strike was worth the wait, the midfielder's outrageous effort sure to live long in the memory.

Lille's defenders backed off Kondogbia, almost encouraging him to shoot, and the end result was something of beauty.

A stop-start season continues

Denis Cheryshev scored Valencia's goal in a 1-1 draw at Lille last month but he has been not been able to nail down a regular starting berth for Valencia this season. He has been suspended, as well, and lasted just 30 minutes before succumbing to injury.

What's next?

Valencia will be after just their third home league win of the season on Saturday when they take on Granada. Lille are at home, too, hosting Metz.

Antoine Griezmann scored his fourth goal in eight LaLiga appearances for Barcelona as the Spanish champions beat Eibar 3-0, and he leads the line in this week's FIFA 20 FUT Team of the Week.

The France World Cup winner is joined by an all-star cast in this week's line-up, including Paris Saint-Germain's in-form winger Angel Di Maria.

After scoring twice in his side's 4-1 victory at Nice in Ligue 1, Di Maria was in scintillating form as PSG beat Club Brugge 5-0 in the Champions League.

Not all of this week's selection are competing towards the top of their respective domestic leagues, with Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure earning a place for his goal-scoring performance in the Premier League basement club's 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

Monaco are 14th in Ligue 1 and they will need more of the same from Wissam Ben Yedder if they are to turn their season around - he scored a brace in their 3-2 win over Rennes.

Find out who else made FIFA's Ultimate Team line-up below.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne) - 86

CB: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) - 88

CB: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) - 84

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 82

CM: Dani Parejo (Valencia) - 87

CAM: Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk) - 84

CM: Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford) - 84

RW: Radja Nainggolan (Cagliari) - 85

LW: Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) - 90

RW: Angel Di Maria (PSG) - 87

ST: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco) - 85

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Alfred Gomis (Dijon) - 81

CB: William Troost-Ekong (Udinese) - 81

CDM: Tomas Soucek (Slavia Prague) - 82

LM: Petros Mantalos (AEK Athens) - 81

ST: Lautaro Martinez (Inter) - 84

ST: Angel (Getafe) - 82

LW: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) - 81

RESERVES

LM: Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb) - 79

LM: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) - 78

ST: Andreas Cornelius (Parma) - 80

ST: Daniel Candeias (Genclerbirligi) - 79

ST: Henok Goitom (AIK) - 78

Dani Parejo's wondrous late free-kick earned Valencia a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid, who were dealt a huge blow with an injury to Joao Felix.

Atletico appeared on course for a routine 1-0 win thanks to Diego Costa's 36th-minute penalty, the striker finding the net from the spot in a game that saw he and Alvaro Morata miss great chances.

However, the much-maligned forward pair's profligacy was eventually punished as Joao Felix, the €126million close-season signing from Benfica, had to be helped off with 10 minutes remaining, leaving an Atletico side that had already used all three substitutes with 10 men.

Parejo quickly took advantage in stunning fashion, bending a sublime strike beyond Jan Oblak and into the top-right corner to secure a share of the spoils despite Lee Kang-in's injury-time red card.

 

 

 

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