Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo is on the verge of completing a loan move to Valencia, according to Guillem Balague.
The Sky Sports pundit and Spanish football specialist claims that the unsettled 29-year-old is close to signing at the Mestalla, with a view to a permanent deal worth £25 million next season.
Negredo is currently still four or five weeks away from a return to action after sustaining a fractured metatarsal, and has fallen down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium as a result.
Former Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko are all ahead of him in Manuel Pellegrini’s plans, so he would be more likely to regain regular first-team football when he is fit again away from the club.
“The Beast”, as he is affectionately known by fans of the English Premier League winners, has reportedly been in favour of a return to La Liga this summer with Atletico and Real Madrid both keeping a close eye on his situation.
But it looks like Valencia are going to snap him up and when he returns he will definitely give their forward line a boost, as they look for a return to European football.
The Spaniard enjoyed a brilliant start to life in England, scoring 23 goals in all competitions.
Nine of these were scored in the title-winning campaign, while his five UEFA Champions League goals included a hat-trick against CSKA Moscow. He was also the top scorer in the English League Cup success with six, and he bagged another treble against West Ham United in the semi-final.
But after getting injured during the second leg of that tie in late January, he failed to find the net again as his role became reduced to the substitute’s bench.
He established himself as a proven goalscorer in La Liga, with a total of 102 goals amassed in six seasons during spells with Almeria and Sevilla, before Pellegrini lured him to the Etihad Stadium for £16.4 million in July 2013.
His career began way down in Tercera Division with the Rayo Vallecano B team, where impressive goalscoring feats attracted the attention of Real Madrid, who developed him again in their Castilla side.
Newly-promoted Almeria came calling and he joined them in July 2007, with Real having the option to bring him back to the Bernebau. Negredo scored 13 league goals in his first season as his new club finished eighth, and then a further 19 the following campaign.
Real took him back after these performances, but ironically it was current boss Pellegrini who suggested that the now 24-year-old should move away in order to fulfil his potential.
Sevilla splashed out £15million for his signature and a five-year deal and despite battling with the likes of Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanoute, he quickly established himself as the undisputed first choice – scoring 70 league goals over his four seasons.
He netted 25 times in his final year as he won the Zarra Trophy – for the most goals scored by a Spaniard during the year – and rounded off his time with the Sevillistas by scoring four times against Valencia before he moved to England.
His exploits with Sevilla earned him international recognition. After making his debut against Armenia in 2009, he boasts a decent scoring ratio with 10 goals in 21 caps. Despite being overlooked for both FIFA World Cup finals, he was part of the squad that won Euro 2012.