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Atletico Madrid spending spree continues with €29m Hermoso capture

4:24 PM GMT+4 18/07/2019
hermosocropped
The Espanyol defender is the latest player to join Diego Simeone's side, with the likes of Joao Felix and Kieran Trippier having already signed

Atletico Madrid's close-season spending spree has continued with the €29 million (£26m/$33m) acquisition of Spain defender Mario Hermoso from Espanyol.

The 24-year-old centre-back has cost Atletico €25m (£22m/$28m) upfront, with a further €4m to follow in the shape of various performance-related add-ons.

Hermoso had just 12 months left on his Espanyol contract and has now agreed to a five-year deal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

A Real Madrid academy product, Hermoso only made his top-flight debut in the 2017-18 campaign but has since enjoyed a rapid rise.

He particularly impressed last term as Espanyol - who have a 20 per cent sell-on clause - finished seventh in La Liga, earning his first Spain cap last November.

With Atletico seeing Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis and Juanfran all depart at the end of last season, Hermoso had long been suggested as a likely arrival.

But Espanyol's apparent initial reluctance to reduce their asking price from the reported €40m (£36m/$45m) release clause in his contract meant negotiations dragged on.

An agreement has been found, though, and Hermoso is the latest defender to join Atletico after Felipe, Renan Lodi and Kieran Trippier, who arrived a day earlier.

In a statement released on Espanyol's official club website, the Spanish club wished the 24-year-old good luck in his new club, adding: "From the first day, Hermoso has shown exemplary behavior as a player of RCD Espanyol and has defended the Blue and White colours with his commitment."

Atletico, meanwhile, wrote in welcoming their new signing: "We welcome an extraordinary player, who, despite his youth, has experience and a promising future.

"He arrives to make our squad stronger and we wish him all the best in this beautiful new challenge at Atletico de Madrid."

Hermoso takes Atletico's reported expenditure to €248m (£223m/$278m) with Marcos Llorente, Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Nicolas Ibanez and Ivan Saponjic also new to the club, although they recouped €120m (£107m/$134m) from Antoine Griezmann's controversial departure to Barcelona.

Simeone's side finished second in the Liga table last season, 11 points behind champions Barcelona, and they get their 2019-20 campaign underway on August 18 with a home fixture against Getafe.