Juan Roman Riquelme, who has been on loan with Villarreal for the last two seasons has joined the club on a permanent basis.
Barcelona have to allow Argentine midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme to move permanently their Primera Liga rivals.
“We are very happy with the agreement and believe it is a good deal for everyone,” Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain said on Friday.
“We’ve taken into account the player’s wishes and the fact that he wanted to stay at Villarreal.”
“Because of his characteristics he does not fit in at Barcelona,” Begiristain added. “We already have his position well covered with Deco, (Mark) Van Bommel, Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta and Ronaldinho.
“If we add to that the fact that he is a non-European Union player then it would have obliged us to change things we didn’t want to change.”
The former Boca Juniors playmaker played a vital role in helping steer them to a best ever third place in the Primera Liga and qualification for the Champions League.