Bailly to replace Arsenal-bound Gabriel?

Espanyol could be set to wave farewell to three more players this month, with Eric Bailly on the verge of joining Villarreal.

The Yellow Submarine have been on the lookout for a new centre-back following the completion Gabriel Paulista's switch to Arsenal, and AS claims they have found their man in the €7.5m-rated Ivorian starlet, despite late interest from Manchester City.

Bailly, 20, has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence this season, having gone from making his senior Espanyol debut in October to representing Cote d'Ivoire at the Africa Cup of Nations in just a few months.

The Catalans have been extremely busy in January, with Uruguayan striker Cristian Stuani another player close to leaving them before the end of the week.

However, one player who has exited Espanyol is Alex Fernandez, the younger brother of Real Madrid defender Nacho.

The Spain Under-20 international has joined Rijeka on loan for the rest of the season and follows Manu Lanzarote, German Parreno, Carlos Clerc and Raul Rodriguez out of the exit door.

Tags Alex Fernandez Christian Stuani Eric Bailly Gabriel Paulista Transfers