Riquelme hopeful on Ayala

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Juan Roman Riquelme is desperate for Roberto Ayala to join him at Villarreal.

Valencia are not prepared to let Ayala go for less than ‚é¼5 million (£3.4 million), but the Argentine is deeply unhappy at the Estadio Mestalla and the situation is threatening to disrupt the start of their season.

Riquelme believes it is time for Valencia to accept Ayala's feelings and allow him to go to Villarreal.

"I hope that Valencia understand Roberto's decision and let him come to Villarreal," said the 28-year-old playmaker.

''It's normal that many teams want him. He has already shown that he is a great player and a good person and I wish him all the luck in the world."

Ayala's agent is reportedly set to meet with Yellow Submarines officials in an attempt to convince them to raise their offer.

Villarreal defender Rodolfo Arruabarrena, meanwhile, has returned to training following a knee injury.

The problem had been expected to sideline Arruabarrena for the start of the season, but coach Manuel Pellegrini is now looking ahead more positively.

"Our objective is for him to arrive at the right level in time for the first match against Real Madrid (on August 27).