After the departure of Mateo Musacchio (target for Sevilla) to AC Milan last summer, the Yellow Submarine were restricted with options in the centre of defence last season. Álvaro González, Víctor Ruiz and Daniele Bonera are the only three first team centre backs available at La Ceramica. The 37 year old Italian, Bonera has supposedly extended his contract with Villarreal for another season, but it is yet to be officially announced.
Last summers signing Ruben Semedo has seen his contract with the club suspended due to being sent to prison for attempted murder. After spending over €14 million on the Portuguese, it was hoped that he would have been an adequate replacement for Musacchio. Clearly, that has not turned out to be the case and Villarreal want to add to their options.
Having spent €8 million on Funes Mori already, Raul Albiol is being sought after by Javier Calleja. The 32 year old is well acquainted with La Liga football having spend time with both Valencia and Real Madrid. Raul Albiol was also included in Spain treble-winning squad of two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.
Raul Albiol has been a key player for Napoli since moving to the Italian side in 2013 for €12 million. They have pushed Juventus very close on a number of occasions, but have failed to beat the Old Lady to the Serie A title. Raul Albiol has won the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup during his five years at the club however.
The former Valencia graduate signed a contract extension in September 2016 which agreed to keep him with the Naples club until 2020. Within this contract is believed to be a buy out clause of a meager €6 million. Raul Albiol is showing no sign of slowing down, having played 39 games for Napoli last season. This is a very low price for a player of his quality and experience.
The future of Raul Albiol in Naples may come down to Carlo Ancelotti’s preferences. It is believed that the Italian manager wants to keep the 32 year old at the club however. With Villarreal having sold their best centre backs consistently over the last number of years, getting in a player of Albiol’s quality would be a nice change.