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By ESPN Staff

Riquelme to return to Boca says Macri

MADRID -- Villarreal's Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme will return to his former club Boca Juniors on loan until the end of the season, according to Boca president Mauricio Macri.

"I'm delighted because we have secured Riquelme's return to the club," Macri was quoted as saying on the Boca Web site.

The Web site added that the deal was still dependent on Villarreal's agreement to Boca's proposal.

Riquelme has been sidelined by Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini since the start of the year because the club has been unhappy with his level of commitment.

The 28-year-old is one of the Primera Liga's most talented players and helped lead Villarreal to the semifinals of the Champions League last season although he struggled to recover after missing a last gasp penalty in their defeat against Arsenal.

In September he retired from international football, saying that criticisms of his performances in the World Cup had affected the health of his mother.