Atletico continue defender spree, add Hermoso

MADRID (AFP) – Atletico Madrid bought a second defender in less than 24 hours yesterday 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 EUR22 million.

Both men said they were “very excited.”

Espanyol said Atletico had paid close to EUR25 millions 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.