Giovani dos Santos signed with Spanish La Liga side Villarreal CF on Tuesday, dashing – for now – the LA Galaxy's reported efforts to sign the Mexican national team star.
The fleet-footed attacker is the latest of several summer signings by “The Yellow Submarine,” signaling the club's ambitions to return to the upper echelons of the Spanish scene after a rough patch that saw them relegated to the second division at the close of the 2011-12 campaign.
Villarreal rebounded with a second-place finish in the Segunda División last season, and will effectively take the place vacated by RCD Mallorca, dos Santos' previous club, who finished in 18th place in La Liga last spring. Their newest signing will be officially unveiled on July 18.
"I am very happy to take this step in my career and, finally, to play at Villarreal CF, a great club I was about to go last season but that with the decline in the last day could not be carried out, unfortunately,” dos Santos told Villarreal's website. “They left many versions and speculations about my future and I wanted to keep out of that, but now that it has successfully agreed I want to express publicly my great dream to reach Villarreal and hope I can contribute in any way I can.”
Last month multiple outlets suggested that dos Santos had been targeted by the Galaxy as their next Designated Player, claiming that a multimillion-dollar transfer fee had been offered to Mallorca as well a lofty wage to the player himself.
LA officials steadfastly denied these reports, though on Tuesday Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl tweeted that sources had informed him that the Galaxy's pursuit was “very real.”
Hearing that LA's big $ offer to Giovani Dos Santos was very real – and that Chepo and Mexican FA were among those counseling against move.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 9, 2013
Dos Santos is expected to spearhead El Tri's attack when the US national team hosts Mexico in their highly anticipated World Cup qualifier at Columbus Crew Stadium on Sept. 10 (8 pm ET, ESPN, Watch ESPN, UniMas).