The Spanish side have broken their transfer record to acquire the 26-year-old, who returns to La Liga after 18 months in Germany. Borussia Dortmund have let Paco Alcacer leave for Villarreal and are in talks with Juventus midfielder Emre Can about a potential move.

Villarreal announced the arrival of Alcacer on Thursday, with the prior Barcelona striker signing a five-and-a-half-year deal and reportedly commanding a club-record fee of $25m.

Eleven of these goals were scored after coming off the bench, setting a new Bundesliga record for goals by a substitute in the process.

That flying start prompted Dortmund to flip Alcacer’s loan into a permanent five-year deal in February 2019

However, Alcacer has struggled to replicate that form this effort. He’s made only nine starts in all competitions under Lucien Favre this season and struggled with injuries, while the January arrival of Erling Haaland from Salzburg led to greater competition for minutes.

Alcacer – connected with former club Valencia earlier from the window – has returned to Spain with Villarreal, that are eighth in La Liga and booked a place in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Wednesday.

It might not be the last of Dortmund’s activity in the transfer window, with Can close to coming from Juve.

The 26-year-old has fallen down the group pecking order because Maurizio Sarri’s coming as Juve coach in the summer.

The Germany global was left from the Bianconeri’s Champions League squad this year and has made just eight appearances in all competitions, two of which have come from the beginning.

As a result, the Italian champions are willing to sanction the former Liverpool midfielder’s departure at the winter window, but only if their reported $28m valuation is met.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told a news conference on Thursday: “Well, the transfer window isn’t open much longer and I don’t like to provide any updates until something is final.

“We’re talking with the participant, this is no secret. But a decision hasn’t been made yet.”