West Ham sign Spain midfielder Fornals from Villarreal

By Sports Desk June 14, 2019

West Ham have announced the capture of Pablo Fornals, who becomes the second most expensive player in the club's history after Felipe Anderson.

The Spain midfielder joins the Hammers from Villarreal for a reported £24million fee, signing a five-year deal that includes the option for a further 12 months.

Fornals, who started his career at Malaga, starred in Villarreal's run to the quarter-finals of the Europa League last term, scoring three goals and creating 22 chances from open play.

The 23-year-old, set to play at this year's European Under-21 Championship, is the first player to join Manuel Pellegrini's squad after the 2018-19 Premier League season.

Pellegrini managed at both Malaga and Villarreal, with Fornals looking forward to working with the former Manchester City boss as well as reuniting with the club's director of football Mario Husillos.

"I'm very happy to be part of West Ham," Fornals told West Ham's website. "I feel very good, very happy and very grateful for the opportunity that has been provided to me.

"I want the club to continue betting on young and ambitious people, people who want to do well for the long term.

"I know about the loyal fans and the stadium, which is a beautiful stadium. The fans fill the stadium every weekend and that is something admirable, especially with the passion with which football is lived there. I think it is important to play with the support of your fans at home.

"I have worked with Mario before – I know him from when I was in Malaga. With Manuel, only when I saw him and admired him on TV.

"Of course, Manuel was a big influence because in the end he is one of the best coaches in the world and who doesn't want to work with people like that?"

In 2017, Fornals missed a LaLiga fixture against Barcelona after fainting during training, although Villarreal said he made an "immediate recovery".

He won his first cap for Spain in 2016 but has only made one further senior appearance for his country since then.

Related items

  • If we find something for one position – Klopp relaxed over Liverpool transfer activity If we find something for one position – Klopp relaxed over Liverpool transfer activity

    Jurgen Klopp remains "relaxed" about Liverpool's transfer activity and while he is looking at strengthening one position, he reiterated the European champions would be relatively quiet during the window.

    Liverpool have signed 17-year-old defender Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle this close season, while the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno have left.

    The Champions League winners have been linked with moves for numerous players, including former playmaker Philippe Coutinho – now at Barcelona – and Lille forward Nicolas Pepe.

    Klopp, whose team are in the United States for pre-season friendlies, is remaining calm about Liverpool's movements in the market.

    "We are pretty relaxed in that, we will see what's coming up," he told the club's website.

    "How I said, it will not be the biggest transfer window of LFC. We invested a lot in the team in the last two years, I would say. We cannot spend every year in the same manner.

    "People talk about it like, 'Now another £300million or £200m'. There are maybe only two clubs in the world – it looks in the moment like Barcelona and [Real] Madrid can do the same – [Manchester] City and PSG that can do it every year.

    "But we are fine. I'm happy with the team, we are really happy. We have to see if we find maybe one position, if we find something for it, but there's no real pressure because it's not about signing a player. We have solutions for all the situations.

    "Do we have exactly the solution that everybody from outside would be 100 per cent happy? I don't think so because people want to have world class here, world class here and the guy on the bench has to be world class as well. That's not so easy. But we are of course working on it."

    Marko Grujic will remain on loan at Hertha Berlin, while Sheyi Ojo will spend 2019-20 with Rangers.

    But Klopp has no concerns about his squad at Liverpool, who finished a point behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League last season.

    "On the outgoing side, we are relaxed. The young boys are here and enjoyed working with us a lot," he said.

    "Not to forget Naby [Keita] and Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] are injured still and are not here with us. Players will come back.

    "I'm really looking forward to the season, it will be really exciting again."

    Liverpool face Borussia Dortmund in a friendly on Friday.

  • Guardiola holds high hopes for Rodri Guardiola holds high hopes for Rodri

    Pep Guardiola has lofty expectations for Rodri following the midfielder's debut in Manchester City's friendly win over West Ham.

    City's record signing Rodri started against the Hammers in the Premier League Asia Trophy match in Nanjing on Wednesday, playing 69 minutes.

    Seemingly signed as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, Rodri is likely to occupy a holding midfield role in Guardiola's side next term.

    During his time with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid in LaLiga, Rodri was often likened to Barcelona star Sergio Busquets, and Guardiola expects a great deal from the 23-year-old.

    "[Rodri] is a Spain national team player and there they call him 'the next Busquets'. I think he is a very good player," Guardiola told a news conference.

    "Ever since we [Guardiola and his staff] arrived here, we have tried to buy players who are 21, 22 or 23 years old.

    "He is a young, typical defensive midfielder who thinks very quickly. I hope he is here for a long time.

    "Rodri is tall, which for a short side like ours is very good. He is great at set-pieces, but we didn't buy him for that."

    City's next pre-season outing comes on Saturday, when they take on Wolves.

  • Hernandez, Pavard bring a lot of quality to Bayern - Tolisso Hernandez, Pavard bring a lot of quality to Bayern - Tolisso

    Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso is confident new arrivals Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard will significantly improve the German giants.

    The versatile defenders and Tolisso helped France to 2018 World Cup glory and the trio are now re-united as Bayern target another successful campaign.

    Both players sought the opinion of Tolisso before making their respective moves, but the 24-year-old said it was "not difficult" to convince them to join him at the Bundesliga champions.

    "They wanted to know how the club [works] and the atmosphere in the team," Tolisso told Bayern's official website.

    "I told them that they will surely be happy here. We have so many great players here. Of course I advised [them to join] ... Bayern is a big club."

    Asked to describe Hernandez and Pavard, Tolisso added: "Lucas is a bit crazy! He makes a lot of jokes and laughs a lot, but when he's on the pitch – wow. He is a fighter and always gives everything.

    "Benjamin is a bit calmer, but he works very hard. He brings a lot of power when he plays. They both bring a lot of quality to our team."

    Bayern have dominated the Bundesliga in recent years, winning the past seven titles.

    Tolisso insist Bayern have the firepower to contest many fronts, though, with winning the UEFA Champions League a primary goal of his.

    "We want to win the Bundesliga and the cup and we know the fans want to win the Champions League," he said.

    "That's normal, because the last time they could celebrate the Champions League [was] six years ago. We have the team to play big games and also to win this title."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.