Villarreal complete the signing of Francis Coquelin

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The Yellow Submarines have finalized the signing of Francis Coquelin from rivals Valencia, with Dani Parejo apparently set to follow.

Former Arsenal midfielder Coquelin has signed a four-year deal with Villarreal, having spent the last two-and-a-half seasons of his career with Valencia.

The 29-year-old expressed his thrill after being unveiled at his new club on Wednesday, saying: “I am very happy to sign for Villarreal today, we hope it will be a great

The majority of Villarreal will welcome this considering there hasn’t been a solid defensive midfielder since Rodri/ Bruno pre injuries. Last year this was evident as neither Zambo nor Iborra could provide the defensive discipline needed. This will free up more attacking-minded players from defending and provide the wings backs protection when pressing forward.

In a bid to lighten their wage bill, Los Che have allowed two midfielders to depart to their Primera Division rivals.

Both players were placed on a ‘blacklist’ of players at the club three weeks ago ahead of the final league match of the season against Leganes, a fixture that Geoffrey Kondogbia also missed after being told he was not wanted by the side.

Coquelin and Parejo are both expected to retain the salaries that they earn with Valencia – €2.5m and €3m per year net – while the joint value of the transfer will be only €13m.

New Villarreal boss Unai Emery has been busy in the transfer market since replacing Javier Calleja in the managerial hot seat at El Madrigal, with Real Madrid winger Takefusa Kubo also signing for the club on loan at the start of the week.

After a fifth-place La Liga finish in 2019-20, Emery will be expected to guide Villarreal back into the Champions League next term, with a view to repairing his damaged reputation after being sacked by Arsenal in November 2019.

Meanwhile, there is currently an implosion at the Mestalla with certain first-team stars on their way out. With the way things are looking, it could be a very long next season for the Valencia faithful.