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Prem Forecaster: The relegation race

Premier League
By ESPN Staff

Joaquin to make €25-million move to Valencia

MADRID, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Spain winger Joaquin will sign for Valencia on a five-year deal from Real Betis for a reported fee of €25 million, Spanish media reported on Thursday.

The 25-year-old, who did not train with Betis on Thursday, is expected to travel to Valencia later in the day to undergo a medical.

If the transfer goes through it will make him the second-most expensive Primera Liga signing of the close season behind Mali midfielder Mahamadou Diarra who joined Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon for 26 million euros last week.

Joaquin, who has won 42 caps for Spain and was part of the squad for the World Cup, graduated to the Betis first team from the reserves in 2000 when the club was in the second division and has been a leading figure ever since.

Although he was under contract to Betis until 2010, he reiterated his desire to leave the club last week, pleading with them to listen to offers from other teams.

Valencia have also signed strikers Fernando Morientes and Francesco Tavano and left back Asier del Horno during the close season.

They qualified for the group stage of the Champions League on Tuesday after a 3-1 aggregate victory over Salzburg.

Valencia host Betis in the opening match of the Spanish league at the Mestalla on Saturday.