Atletico Madrid close in on €60 million Rodrigo deal

Atletico Madrid are set to complete a €60 million (£56m-$67m) deal to sign Valencia star Rodrigo Moreno.

Atletico Madrid are set to complete a €60 million (£56m/$67m) deal to sign Valencia star Rodrigo Moreno.

Sources close to the negotiations have revealed that a move is expected to become official in the next few days.

Rodrigo’s agent Jorge Mendes’s positive relationship with Valencia owner Peter Lim helped push through a deal, with the 28-year-old adding to what has already been a massive overhaul at Atleti this summer.

Both Everton and Napoli were also keen on signing the player but it’s Atleti that have won the race.

His arrival will prove timely, with Diego Simeone’s side having announced that Diego Costa suffered a thigh injury in the friendly win over Juventus that could see him miss the start of the season.

Rodrigo has spent the last five seasons at Valencia, and enjoyed a stellar 2017-18 campaign, scoring 16 goals and adding four assists in La Liga.

That helped Los Che to secure a fourth-placed finish and a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2015-16.

His goal total dropped last season, but Rodrigo still managed eight goals while adding six assists for Valencia, who finished fourth once again, while chipping in with two Europa League strikes as his side made the semi-final.

Rodrigo also scored the decisive second goal for Valencia as they defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final.

Originally born in Brazil, Rodrigo has featured for Spain at international level, and has been capped 17 times, scoring five goals.

He will add to a squad that has seen a major overhaul this summer, with star forward Antoine Griezmann making his long-rumoured departure for Barcelona, while Lucas Hernandez headed to Bayern Munich, Diego Godin to Inter and Rodri to Manchester City.

Simeone’s side have, however, brought in many high-profile reinforcements, with the biggest name being former Benfica star Joao Felix, who has enjoyed a hugely productive pre-season.

Rodrigo originally came through Real Madrid’s youth system, featuring for their B and C squads though he never made a first-team appearance for the club.

The arrival of the former Bolton Wanderers loanee will likely to see Atleti step up their attempts to offload Nicola Kalinic and Angel Correa, meanwhile, with Rodrigo adding to an attacking line that includes the likes of Alvaro Morata, Costa, Felix, Thomas Lemar and Vitolo.

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