Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Raul Albiol is leaving the club amid reports he will join Villarreal for €4m.
The Yellow Submarine are said to 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.
“Albiol has already told us that he wants to leave, I will not force him to stay and it is our duty to replace him,” De Laurentiis told Kiss Kiss Napoli, as cited by Marca.
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.