Cristian Zapata leaves Udinese for Villarreal

Udinese have confirmed the sale of Cristian Zapata to Spanish side Villarreal for an undisclosed fee.

The Colombia international had been strongly linked with a move to the Barclays Premier League this summer with Liverpool and Arsenal reportedly keen to acquire his services.

A statement from Udinese read: "Udinese announces it has sold the sporting rights of Colombian defender Cristian Zapata to Villarreal.

"We wish to thank the player for his professionalism during his six years at the club and we wish him the best of luck in the future."

The 24-year-old central defender, who can also play in either full-back position, is currently competing for his country in the Copa America,

He is set to sign a five-year contract with the Primera Liga outfit.