Spain striker Raul de Tomas has agreed to return to Rayo Vallecano after a deal was confirmed with Espanyol.
The 27-year-old spent two seasons on loan at Estadio de Vallecas from Real Madrid between 2017 and 2019, before making a permanent move to Benfica, and then Espanyol.
However, as his move back to Vallecano has been completed outside the transfer and registration window, the player cannot feature for his new team until January. A lack of match action in the coming months means it is unlikely De Tomas will be named in the Spain squad for the World Cup later this year.
De Tomas – who has four caps for La Roja –scored 17 goals in 34 LaLiga appearances for Espanyol last season, but was keen to move to Vallecano before the transfer window closed.
That was not possible as negotiations stuttered, though they continued after the window closed, even leading to the player's agent Ivan Garcia being accused of headbutting Vallecano's president Raul Martin Presa, with the club releasing a statement on Saturday saying: "Ivan Garcia assaulted Raul Martin Presa, hitting him in the face with his head on Thursday night.
"Precisely because he was attacked, Raul Martin Presa called the police, went to the emergency room of a hospital centre to receive medical assistance and immediately filed a complaint against Ivan Garcia at the police station."
Nevertheless, Vallecano announced on Tuesday that a deal had been agreed to sign De Tomas, with reports suggesting the fee to be around €8million, with a further €3m in add-ons, and the club confirmed he had signed until 2027.
That falls some way short of Espanyol's supposed initial valuation of €30m, but the writing seemed to be on the wall when the player fell out with head coach Diego Martinez, and he has not featured for the Periquitos this season.
De Tomas made his Spain debut last November in the 1-0 win away to Greece in World Cup qualifying, and has since played for the national team against Sweden, Portugal and Czech Republic.