BARCELONA (Reuters) - Valencia announced the signing of French holding midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia on loan from Inter Milan on Monday, their third signing in four days as new coach Marcelino sets about reinforcing his team’s defensive capabilities.
Kondogbia, 24, returns to La Liga four years after leaving Sevilla for AS Monaco, later joining Inter in 2015, and follows the signing of centre backs Jeison Murillo and Gabriel Paulista, who joined last Friday from Inter and Arsenal respectively.
Local media reports suggest that Valencia’s Joao Cancelo will go on loan to the Serie A club as part of the deal. The Portuguese defender appeared to bid an emotional farewell to Valencia fans after Friday’s 1-0 win at home to Las Palmas, as the team’s new campaign under former Villarreal coach Marcelino got off to a positive start.
According to reports in the Spanish media, Valencia will need to pay 25 million euros ($29.5 million) to buy Kondogbia at the end of his one-year loan period.
Marcelino, who turned Villarreal into one of the most solid and consistent sides in the league after winning promotion in 2013 and took them to the Europa League semi-finals in 2016, has pledged to bring defensive stability to a chaotic Valencia side which conceded a club record 65 goals last season.
($1 = 0.8490 euros)
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge