Villarreal to sign Napoli defender Raul Albiol

Villarreal are close to completing the signing of Napoli defender Raul Albiol after activating his €4m release clause, according to reports.

Marca cite a report in Corriere dello Sport that the Yellow Submarine have trumped Valencia in a move for the experienced defender while Marca themselves say a deal is ‘virtually closed’.

The veteran, who turns 34 in September, joined Napoli from Real Madrid in 2013 but is said to favour a return to Spanish football this summer.

He went on to play 218 times for the Partenopei, winning a Coppa Italia and Supercoppa – becoming somewhat of a cult figure in the Naples-based club.

Albiol signed an extension until 2021 last summer but made just 20 appearances during the previous campaign, having nursed a knee injury.

Capped 52 times by the Spain international team, Albiol spent the first seven seasons of his career at Valencia alongside spending a season-long loan at Getafe.

Albiol then went on to spend four seasons at Real Madrid – scoring twice across 119 appearances – before his Napoli move six years ago.

Tags Raul Albiol