Alex Moreno to swap Rayo Vallecano for Real Betis

Real Betis are nearing the signing of Rayo Vallecano defender Alex Moreno, according to a report in El Mundo Deportivo.

The 25-year-old had been one of the standout players for relegated Rayo last season and appears likely to depart following their demotion back to the second tier.

Moreno could provide back-up to fellow Betis wing-back Alfonso Pedraza, also signed this summer, after Junior Firpo departed to Barcelona in a permanent deal.

Betis are short in the wing-back position with Emerson, who arrived on loan in January, also able to provide cover but he is more at home on the right flank.

It is said that Los Verdiblancos are prepared to pay €7m for a player who has already signed a five-year deal with the club, although Rayo are asking for €8m.

“It's time to take a step forward in my career and look for new challenges,” Moreno told El Mundo Deportivo earlier this summer, as cited by Marca.

Moreno had appeared in 36 of Rayo’s 38 league matches last campaign and generally impressed in a side who have languished near the foot of the table all season.

He has scored one goal and provided two assists last campaign – he was converted from a winger into a full-back in Vallecas.

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