Rayo Vallecano have officially announced the signing of Raul de Tomas from Espanyol, bringing to an end one of the more curious transfer sagas of the summer.
Originally Espanyol were hoping not to have to sell de Tomas for any less than €30m this summer, publicly referring people to his €75m, if they could not hang onto him. That situation changed after a falling out with manager Diego Martinez, since which all parties have been looking for an exit.
Despite a late attempt from Rayo Vallecano to sign him, no deal was found before the transfer deadline. Negotiations continued with Rayo, eventually leading to a physical altercation between de Tomas’ agent, Ivan Garcia, and Rayo President, Raul Martin Presa. The latter ended up in hospital.
That does not seem to have gotten in the way of a deal though. Rayo announced that de Tomas will sign a five-year contract with the club where he spent two years between 2017 and 2019.
Mundo Deportivo say the deal will be a record signing for Rayo, coming in at €8m plus €3m in variables. That fee is considerably lower than many had expected and Espanyol will make a €9m loss on their star striker and now Spain international. Due to the timing of the deal, RDT will not be able to play until January, ruling him out of contention for a spot in Spain’s World Cup squad.
De Tomas scored 45 goals in 89 matches for Espanyol and was one of the key players for Los Pericos over the last two-and-a-half seasons. Selling him for such a low fee will be considered poor business by many.