Atletico Madrid have secured the capture of Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese in a €35 million (£30m/$42m) deal on a five-year contract, the club has confirmed.
The Argentina international joins the Rojiblancos on a half-decade-long deal through 2026, mere days after winning the Copa America with his country.
His capture marks the first major piece of business for Diego Simeone's side as they look to push on from last season's title triumph in La Liga and defend their crown this coming term - and speaking after his medical was completed on Monday, the midfielder expressed his delight at sealing the switch to Spain from Italy.
What has been said?
"I’m very happy, I’m going to join [the] champions and I’m conscious of the responsibility it carries," De Paul stated hin his first official words as a player of the club. "It is a big step in my football career.
"Because of my experience in Spanish football, I know very well Atlético de Madrid, without counting with all the friends and colleagues I have playing in Spain.
“I’m very happy to have the opportunity of working under Simeone. I love football, it’s part of my daily life, and having a manager [like him] s a privilege."
De Paul capture bolsters
Pursued doggedly by a host of clubs during previous transfer windows, including Premier League side Leeds United, De Paul's arrival at Atletico highlights just how his standing has grown over recent months - and highlights how pleased Simeone will be to get his men, mere days after signing a new deal himself at Wanda Metropolitano.
An Argentine legend himself, the manager will be delighted to bring on board a member of the Albiceleste side that ended their long-term Copa America drought on Saturday, finally handing Lionel Messi the winners' medal missing from his collection.
Under Lionel Scaloni, De Paul has further established himself as a regular fixture within Argentina's midfield, and will likely bring similar control to Atletico as they seek to secure back-to-back titles in La Liga this term following a dramatic race for the crown earlier this year.