Atletico Madrid sign Rodrigo De Paul for €35m

Carlo Garganese

Atletico Madrid have announced the signing of Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese for a fee of €35 million.

The Argentina international has penned a five-year contract until the summer of 2026 at the Wanda Metropolitano.

De Paul’s move to Atletico has been agreed for some time, but the Spanish club were just waiting for the Copa America to finish before announcing the transfer.

The 27-year-old played a key role as Argentina won the tournament, delivering a brilliant assist in the final for Angel Di Maria to score the only goal of the game against Brazil.

De Paul has been one of Serie A’s top performers over the last two seasons and was considered by many as the best central midfielder in the league in 2020/21.

He was also being closely followed by Liverpool, Juventus, Inter and PSG, while Leeds United tried to sign him a year ago with Marcelo Bielsa a big fan.

However, it is Atletico who have won the race for his signature as Diego Simeone’s looks to strengthen a side that clinched a surprise La Liga title this past season.

Simeone is hoping to offload midfielder Saul Niguez, who has been put up for sale by the club and has attracted the interest of Bayern Munich and Premier League teams.

De Paul joined Udinese from Valencia in 2016 and went on to make 184 appearances with the club, scoring 34 goals.

Last season he completed more dribbles than any other player in Serie A from his central midfield role.