LaLiga: Atletico Madrid sign second defender in a day, Mario Hermoso joins from rivals Espanyol
Atletico have brought on two players in the space of a day and appear to be making up for the loss of veteran centre-back Diego Godin to Inter Milan
Hermoso has played 59 games for Espanyol over the last two seasons, scoring four goals and has been capped three times for Spain national team
Earlier this summer, Atletico had lost veteran centre back Diego Godin to Inter Milan after nine years and are making up for that loss with new signings
Previously, Atletico Madrid had brought on English right-back Kieran Trippier from Tottenham Hotspur
Madrid: Atletico Madrid bought a second defender in less than 24 hours on Thursday when they signed Spanish international centre back Mario Hermoso from Liga rivals Espanyol.
The club unveiled Hermoso at their Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the same press conference where they introduced England right-back Kieran Trippier who was bought the day before from Tottenham for a reported 22 million euros ($24.6 million).
Both men said they were "very excited." Espanyol said Atletico had paid close to 25 million euros ($28 million) for Hermoso with four million ($4.4 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.
Earlier this summer, Atletico had lost veteran centre back Diego Godin to Inter Milan after nine years. "Diego has been an emblem within the club," said Hermoso. Adding that he welcomed the challenge and was sure he "would continue that tradition."
Trippier also said, "when Atletico showed interest I didn't think twice." Trippier, who played for an Argentine coach, Mauricio Pochettino, at Tottenham, said he was eager to work for another, Diego Simeone, at Atletico. "For me, he is one of the best coaches in the world and it's a privilege to work for him and I'm going to give him everything," Trippier said.
Franck Kessie and Alexis Saelemaekers both scored inside the first 20 minutes to ensure a straightforward victory for the hosts at the San Siro.
Serie A: Milan clubs breathing down Napoli's neck after league leaders waste two-goal lead against Sassuolo
AC Milan are just one point back in second and Inter Milan another point behind in third following their respective wins over Genoa and Spezia while Napoli were held to a 2-2 draw by Sassuolo.
Inter have won seven of their last nine matches in all competitions – drawing the other two – and are on a high after ensuring passage to the Champions League last 16 after a decade away midweek.