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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

Chilean Villanueva close to joining Blackburn

Chile international Carlos Villanueva is close to joining Blackburn, according to his agent.

Villanueva's agent Cristian Otero told La Tercera.com that Rovers boss Paul Ince contacted him looking to sign youngster Mauro Zarate.

However, Ince instead chose the Audax Italiano midfielder after Zarate opted to join Lazio.

'I have a good relationship with Ince,' said Otero. 'He knew that I took Mauro Zarate (to Birmingham) six months ago and he told me he liked him, but Mauro finally signed for Lazio.

'He wanted a similar player, so I took him several videos of Villanueva, as I believe that they have a similar profile. After watching them, he decided to ask about a transfer.'

Audax Italiano president Valentin Cantergiani claims an agreement has been reached with Rovers and Villanueva will join the Ewood Park club next week.

'It will be completed next week,' Cantergiani said on Cooperativa radio station. 'There are some details to finalise, but there is an agreement with Blackburn Rovers.'

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