According to Spanish radio station Cadena SER, the Espanyol defender, who has become a fixture alongside Sergio Ramos for Spain, will not be returning to Real Madrid.
Atlético Madrid have continued their defensive rebuild by agreeing a deal to sign Spain defender Mario Hermoso from Espanyol.
Spanish radio network Cadena SER reported the two clubs had come to an arrangement for the transfer of the 23-year-old central defender, who when the deal goes through will become Diego Simeone’s second defensive signing this summer after the addition of Porto defender Felipe for 20 million euros earlier in June.
Real Madrid decide against Hermoso buy-back clause
Hermoso began his career at Real Madrid and the Bernabéu board have a buy-back option on the defender, which they have elected not to activate after adding Éder Militão to their own defensive options. That option was worth 7.5 million euros, with Real receiving 50 percent of the transfer fee agreed between Atlético and Espanyol instead.
Hermoso’s minimum release clause stands at 40 million euros but it is understood that Atlético will fork out considerably less due to the player’s request to leave and Espanyol’s desire to cash in on a player whose contract expires at the end of next season.
Simeone is particularly keen on Hermoso due to his ability to play on the left as well as at centre-half with Diego Godín, Lucas Hernández and Juanfran all having departed the Metropolitano since the end of the season. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a fine season at the RCDE, playing 3,106 minutes across 35 appearances and scoring three times. His form was enough to earn a call-up to Luis Enrique’s Spain squad and he has played the last three matches La Roja have contested, emerging as a genuine contender to partner Sergio Ramos at Euro 2020.