Villarreal bag duo
By Mark Buckingham & Patricio Figueroa. Last Updated: 07/06/05 9:53pm
Villarreal have completed a twin raid on South America by signing Antonio Valencia and Mariano Barbosa.
With the Spanish club competing in the UEFA Champions League next term, Villarreal have been eager to expand their squad.
They have moved to bring in Ecuador international Valencia and highly-rated Argentinian goalkeeper Barbosa.
Valencia has signed a five-year contract with Villarreal and he will be officially unveiled on June 20 when he undertakes a medical.
The midfielder is joining Villarreal from El Nacional, with the club's South American contingent swelled further by the signing of Barbosa.
Internazionale were thought to have struck a deal for the Banfield shot-stopper earlier in the spring but he has now penned a three-year contract at Villarreal.
The Liga club are paying é¼2 million for the 20-year-old and Barbosa is likely to fill the void created by the impending departure of Jose Reina, who is tipped to link up with Liverpool.
Barbosa will move to Spain once Banfield's participation in the Copa Libertadores is concluded and he is relishing the move.
"Everything that is happening to me at the moment is very exciting," said Barbosa.
"I am only 20-years-old and I have already played a lot in the Argentinian Premier Division. I am fighting with my team against River Plate in the quarter finals of the Copa Libertadores and I have been told that my transfer to Villarreal has been agreed.
"Having the chance to play in the Spanish League, where there are so many important teams and players, and even having the chance to play in the Champions League, is something that I really can't believe yet."