New Espanyol coach Ernesto Valverde looks set to land Villarreal outcast Hector Font for the coming season.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder was told to look for a new club by boss Manuel Pellegrini, after falling out of favour at El Madrigal last season.
He still has one year left on his Yellow Submarines' contract, but negotiations between the Liga clubs are already underway.
Valverde is anxious to add Font to his squad, either on loan or on a permanent basis, after the Catalonians struggled so badly in the league under old boss Miguel Angel Lotina.
Font was largely an onlooker for Villarreal's superb UEFA Champions League campaign last year, and he netted just once in 25 primera division appearances.
A move down the league might seem like a backwards step for the youngster, but he would expect to be given much more of a starting berth at Estadio Olimpico de Montjuic.