January 3, 2018 / 1:26 PM / 10 months ago

Villarreal resigned to losing leading striker Bakambu to China

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Villarreal’s top scorer Cedric Bakambu is on the verge of leaving the club to move to Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan, the Liga side’s coach Javi Calleja said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Europa League - Astana vs Villarreal - Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan - November 23, 2017 Villarreal's Cedric Bakambu celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Alexei Filippov

The Congolese striker has scored 48 goals in all competitions for Villarreal since joining from Turkish outfit Bursaspor in 2015 for 7.5 million euros (£6.64 million).

He has netted nine times in La Liga this season, making him the joint-fifth top scorer in Spain’s top flight. Reports in the Spanish media put his release clause at 40 million euros.

“Bakambu’s transfer is being finalised and it could be completed in a matter of hours,” Calleja told a news conference ahead of his side’s King’s Cup game against Leganes.

“It is in the interest of all parties, there is a buy-out clause and it looks like they are going to pay it.”

Villarreal are sixth in the Liga standings on 27 points, 18 behind runaway leaders Barcelona, and have been drawn against Olympique Lyonnais in the last-32 of the Europa League.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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