Villareal sign Ikechukwu Uche and loan him to Granada

Spanish side Villarreal have signed Nigeria striker Ikechukwu Uche on a three-way deal from Real Zaragoza for an undisclosed fee.

The 27-year-old has been immediately loaned out to Spanish La Liga newboys Granada, for the whole of the season.

"It's just another challenge, a new opportunity to continue my career in the Spanish league."

"I look forward to joining the rest of the squad after the international break next week," he told BBC Sport.

"I thank everyone involved in the move, I wish Real Zaragoza, the loving and exciting fans, as well as my former teammates all the best.

"The new phase in my career starts here now and I look forward to an exciting time in the colours of my new club."

Uche has signed a four-year contract with Villareal.

He has had to endure an injury-ravaged time with Zaragoza, only making a return in March after 18 months out with injury.

Since his return Uche has scored six goals in four appearances for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

The Nigeria international also had an offer from Greek side Olympiakos for the loan move but opted to stay in Spain instead, where he has been since 2001.

He joins Senegal's Pape Malickou Diakhate at the club, the defender joined the newly-promoted side on a five-year deal from Russia's Dynamo Kiev last week.

Algeria midfielder Hassan Yebda is also at Granada - he signed a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee recently.