Atlético Madrid confirm Mario Hermoso signing

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RCD Espanyol's Mario Hermoso (front) celebrates his goal during a Spanish league match between RCD Espanyol and Valladolid in Barcelona, Spain, on March 2, 2019. RCD Espanyol won 3-1. (Xinhua/Joan Gosa)

Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid on Thursday confirmed the signing of Spain international defender Mario Hermoso from Espanyol for a fee of around 25 million euros.

Hermoso should be the final piece of the jigsaw for coach Diego Simeone, as Atletico look to replace players such as Lucas Hernandez, Diego Godin, Filipe Luis and Juanfran Torres, who all left the club at the end of last season.

The central defender has agreed a five-year contract and his arrival comes just a day after Atletico completed the signing of England international right-back Kieran Trippier from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of 20 million euros.

24-year-old Hermoso was one of the reasons that Espanyol were able to finish last season in seventh place in La Liga and book a place in the first qualifying round of the Europa League, which they will play next week against a rival from either Iceland or Estonia.

The defender's loss is a serious blow to his former club, who hope to have Chinese striker Wu Lei available next week as he recovers from a shoulder operation he underwent in China at the end of May.

Last week also saw Espanyol strengthen their squad by signing Argentinian winger Matias Vargas from Velez Sarsfield for around 10 million euros, while midfielder Ander Iturraspe has also joined on a free transfer from Athletic Bilbao - but the Barcelona-based side could also lose midfielder Marc Roca in the coming days, with Bayern Munich said to be interested in the Spain U21 international. 

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