Atletico Madrid bought a second defender in less than 24 hours on Thursday when they signed Spanish international centre back Mario Hermoso from Liga rivals Espanyol.
The club unveiled Hermoso at their Wandsa Metropolitano stadium in the same press conference where they introduced England right-back Kieran Tripper, bought the day before from Tottenham for a reported 22 million euros.
Both men said they were “very excited.”
Espanyol said Atletico had paid close to 25 millions euros for Hermoso with four million in “easily reached” add ons and a 20 per cent cut of any future transfer fee.
Atletico said the 24-year-old had signed a five-year deal.
Hermoso is from Madrid and came through the youth system at neighbours Real. He played 59 games for Espanyol over the last two seasons, scoring four goals. He has played three times for Spain.
“When I had the opportunity to come here, I didn’t even have to think about it, it’s an opportunity that allows me to continue growing as a footballer,” Hermoso said.
Atletico lost veteran centre back Diego Godin to Inter Milan after nine years this summer.
“Diego has been an emblem within the club,” said Hermoso. Adding that he welcomed the challenge and was sure he “would continue that tradition.”
Trippier also said “when Atletico showed interest I didn’t think twice.”
Trippier, who played for one Argentine coach, Mauricio Pochettino, at Tottenham, said he was eager to work for another, Diego Simeone, at Atletico.
“For me, he is one of the best coaches in the world and it’s a privilege to work for him and I’m going to give him everything,” Trippier said.
First Published: Jul 18, 2019 19:16 IST