Villarreal have made the surprise signing of Paco Alcácer from Borussia Dortmund, with the Spanish club reportedly breaking their transfer record to sign the Spanish striker after a bid of £19.4m (€23m) was accepted by the German club.
Alcácer returns on a five-year contract to La Liga, where he previously played with Valencia, Getafe and Barcelona, after a successful two-and-a-half year stint with Dortmund in which he scored 26 goals in 47 matches.
Villarreal currently lie in eighth place in La Liga, three points adrift of a European qualification spot, but the move comes as somewhat of a surprise, with Alcácer proving hugely successful during 2018-19, his first season at Dortmund. He finished second in the overall Bundesliga scoring charts behind Robert Lewandowski, scoring 18 league goals in just 12 starts, with many of his strikes coming off the bench. His goals-per-game ratio of 0.67 was the best in the league.
Alcácer started this season in similar form, scoring 10 goal in eight games for Dortmund and Spain, but has not scored since September.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to make,” said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc. “But we’ve changed our formation to a 3-4-1-2 with Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard playing up top. Then we brought in Erling Haaland as well. We always have to think about how a player can help us.”
Zorc also admitted that Dortmund were keen on signing Germany international Emre Can from Juventus. “It’s no secret that’s something we’re working on,” he said. “There’s no final decision yet. There may still be one or two things happening, but it’s also possible that nothing more happens.”
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Hertha Berlin have signed Krzysztof Piatek from Milan for a reported fee of £22.8m (€27m).
Piatek only moved to Milan this time last year and scored 16 goals in 41 games for the Rossoneri but the recent arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has seen him fall down the pecking order. He was previously linked to Tottenham, but Spurs were unwilling to pay the asking price and unable to convince Milan about a loan deal.