Espanyol step up striker hunt

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ESPANYOL president Daniel Sanchez Llibre has admitted that a swoop for Deportivo La Coruna striker Walter Pandiani looks doomed, but is hopeful of capturing Recreativo de Huelva hit-man Raul Molina.

Sanchez Llibre took advantage of his side's trip to face Deportivo on Saturday to sound out the Galician outfit about Pandiani's availability.

The Espanyol supremo met his Depor counterpart Augusto Cesar Lendoiro, but was informed that the Uruguayan striker was likely to clinch a close season move to Mallorca.

Pandiani has been on loan with The Islanders this term, enjoying a productive season which has yielded 14 league goals.

Despite Espanyol's late interest it now seems that the South American will turn the move into a permanent one.

"The operation (to buy Pandiani) is very complicated because it seems that Deportivo want to sell him and Mallorca are in a position to complete the purchase option they already have on the player," said Sanchez Llibre.

However, on the subject of Molina's proposed transfer he added: "It's a matter which has accelerated a lot in the last few hours."

Espanyol look set to include some players in the deal to net Molina (pictured) as the 26-year-old's release clause stands at some ‚é¼6 million, a figure Espanyol are unwilling to meet.

Primera rivals Sevilla, Malaga and Valladolid have all expressed an interest in Molina who has made a big impact in his first season in the Spanish top-flight netting nine league goals in total despite Recre's relegation.

However, Espanyol appear strong favourites to lure him to El Estadio Montjuic next term.