Southampton Football Club can confirm Paulo Gazzaniga has completed a season-long loan move to Rayo Vallecano de Madrid.
The 24-year-old has joined the Segunda Division side on a temporary deal for the duration of the 2016/17 campaign.
Gazzaniga, who joined Southampton from Gillingham in the summer of 2012, has made 23 appearances since making the move to St Mary’s, while also lifting the Under-21 Premier League Cup with Saints’ development side in 2015.
The stopper now links up with Madrid-based Vallecano, as they prepare for the upcoming campaign in the Spanish second tier.Executive Director of Football Les Reed said: “Paulo is a very popular player at the club and has developed steadily since his move from Gillingham, never letting us down when he has been called upon.
“He is now at the point where regular competitive football is required for him to progress to the highest level. Playing regularly for Rayo Vallecano will provide invaluable experience for him.
“Rayo Vallecano is a progressive club, who are making a serious challenge to return to La Liga this coming season. Playing in Spain will also be valuable to Paulo in years to come when we hope he will be involved in regular European football.
“While Paulo has experienced junior football in his native Argentina and top-flight football in England, another culture and style will help him develop to his true potential.
“We also hope this will be the start of an ongoing relationship with the club and maybe we will see some of our budding outfield players getting a taste of the continent in years to come.
“While Harry Lewis has demonstrated his potential during the club’s pre-season camps, and we have some outstanding goalkeeping talent in the Academy, we are on the search for a new number two between the posts to compliment Fraser [Forster], and there are some interesting options on our target list.”
Everyone at Southampton Football Club would like to wish Paulo the very best during his time with Rayo.