Figueroa wants return home

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Luciano Figueroa is anxious to quit Villarreal in the New Year to safeguard his place in Argentina's squad.

The former Birmingham City flop has become frustrated at his situation at Villarreal, where he has spent much of the season on the bench.

The striker is worried that his plight will cost him a place in the Argentina squad for the World Cup finals in Germany.

River Plate are keen to take Figueroa on loan for the second half of the season and it is an option he is willing to explore.

"I hope that my transfer or loan to River can be done, most of all because I am thinking that I will have the chance to be near the national team," explained Figueroa.

"I need to play frequently because we are near to playing the World Cup and currently at Villarreal I am not having many chances to play.

"Lately it has been getting very hard to fight for a place in the team.

"I still have faith in that I will start to play frequently again, but if that doesn't happen I would like to play at River because it's a giant from Buenos Aires and it will let me be near the national team."