Villarreal swoop for Bailly

Eric Bailly will join up with Villarreal when he returns from the Africa Cup of Nations having completed a move from Espanyol.

Villarreal have completed the signing of centre-back Eric Bailly from La Liga rivals Espanyol in a €5.7million deal.

The Ivory Coast international has agreed a move to El Madrigal just a day after Gabriel Paulista left Villarreal to join Premier League side Arsenal.

The 20-year-old has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with Marcelino's side and will link up with his new club when he returns from the Africa Cup of Nations.

A statement on Villarreal's official website said: "Villarreal and Espanyol have reached an agreement for the transfer of young central defender Eric Bailly, who will play with the Yellow Submarine for the next five and a half years."

Bailly has made just five appearances for Espanyol in La Liga this season, with his first start coming against his new employers back in November.