Villarreal chief Jose Manuel Llaneza has returned from Brazil without an agreement, but terms are close to being struck.
"He is the player our coaching staff all say we must sign," said Llaneza. "His style would fit in well with our team. (But) we're talking about making him the most expensive signing in our history."
Villarreal president Fernando Roig added: "We will not announce it until it is closed, but it's exciting, I think we'll make a great signing and he is worth the effort."