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Blow to Liverpool and Leeds as Atletico announce the signing of their target.

Blow to Liverpool and Leeds as Atletico announce the signing of their target.

Following periods of gambling about his future, Argentinian playmaker Rodrigo De Paul has decided to join Atletico from Udinese.

The 27-year-old has enclosed a five-year deal shortly after his country’s Copa America victory over Brazil.

De Paul was profoundly linked with Leeds United last year. He was tipped to join Marcelo Bielsa’s side before Liverpool joined the transfer race in January.

Atletico have now secured his signature in a settlement worth €35million (£29.9m).

Speaking after the move, De Paul said (via The Athletic):
“I’m very happy, I’m going to join the champions of La Liga and I’m conscious of the responsibility it carries. It is a big step in my football career.


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“Moreover, because of the timing, just after winning the Copa America… this fills me with strength to meet all expectations.

“I’m a football enthusiast, and because of my experience in Spanish football, I know Atletico Madrid very well.”

The acquisition of De Paul could enable Saul to join Bayern Munich in a £68m deal.

The midfielder is rumored to want a fresh challenge away from Spain, notwithstanding being contracted at the Wanda Metropolitano until June 2026.

De Paul is a highly-rated midfielder who could dazzle in La Liga and the Champions League next season.

He was arguably Udinese’s most valuable player in 2020/21, registering nine goals and 10 assists in 36 league matches.

He also captained the team for much of the campaign as they finished 14th in Serie A.

In September last year, Leeds were rumored to have agreed to a deal with Udinese for the player.

But ever since Atletico joined the race in October a Premier League move has looked unlikely.

De Paul proposed a return to Spain could be on the boards earlier in the season.

He spent two years at Valencia between 2014 and 2016 before being sold for just €3m.

Here’s what the midfielder had to say:
“I would like to return to Spain. La Liga is beautiful.

“I know there was an interest [from Atletico]. With a coach like Simeone, it draws my attention. I believe they play the dynamic football that I like.

“Every training session seems like an official match for them. In Argentina, we grew up with this attitude.

“It’s an extremely big club, a club who fight for important things and, if it happens one day, I would be happy to go there.”

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Blow to Liverpool and Leeds as Atletico announce the signing of their target.

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