Espanyol defender Jordi Amat is set to join Rayo Vallecano on a season-long loan, reports Sport.
The 20-year-old has been told he does not figure in boss Mauricio Pochettino’s plans for the 2012-13 campaign and, after Rayo made their interest known, immediately left Espanyol’s pre-season training camp in Perelada, Gerona, to negotiate an agreement to be signed on Monday.
Reports in Catalonia over the summer have linked the central defender with a possible cross-city move to Barcelona, although the player has denied it, and he has now been deemed temporarily surplus to requirements at Cornella El-Prat as Pochettino has an excess of centre-backs.
Diego Colotto has been brought in from Deportivo de La Coruna to join Mexican Hector Moreno and Raul Rodriguez in the battle for a place in the starting line-up, the latter having renewed his contract with the club over the summer, and Amat has found himself pushed further down the pecking order.
Amat made just 13 appearances last season – five in La Liga and four in the Copa del Rey – after figuring 28 times the previous term, but says he still harbours hopes of being a hit with the Catalans.
“My main aim is to be a success with Espanyol because this is my home,” he said.
“I know I must work to my full capacity, like other players who have left here and returned, but this season I need to play more regularly and gain experience.
“I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to do so and think I can improve as a footballer if all goes well.”