West Ham have signed Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals for £24million.
The 23-year-old Spanish international joins on a five-year deal, with the option to extend it for a further 12 months.
Fornals will join up with Manuel Pellegrini’s squad at the conclusion of the Under-21 European Championships, which run until 30 June.
“I feel very good, very happy, and very grateful for the opportunity and to be part of West Ham,” Fornals said.
“I want the Club to continue giving opportunities to young and ambitious people, people who want to do well for the long term.
“I know about the loyal fans and the stadium, which is a beautiful stadium. The fans fill the stadium every weekend and that is something admirable, especially with the passion with which football is lived there. I think it is important to play with the support of your fans at home.”
The Castellon-born attacking midfielder ends a second stint at Villarreal, who finished 14th in La Liga last season, after returning from Malaga in 2017. He started out in Villarreal’s youth ranks.Embed from Getty Images
Fornals previously worked under West Ham’s director of football Mario Husillos at Malaga, and Husillos is delighted to have captured the player again.
“We are very happy to welcome Pablo to West Ham United as our third new signing this summer,” he said.
“He is a player we have monitored closely for some time, having seen him make excellent progress as a young midfielder in one of the best leagues in the world. I personally have followed his career since he was a youth player with me at Malaga, and I know we have signed an incredible professional and an incredible character.
“This is something that is very important for us at West Ham United now — not only a very good player but also a very good person with a good mentality.”