Atletico Madrid forward Luciano Vietto has agreed a loan move to Sevilla, following a summer of speculations linking him with Barcelona. Earlier this week reports in Spain claimed that the Argentinian decided to snub the Catalans for the for the Europe League winners. Now the Andalucians have made the deal official at the same time that they confirmed the sale of Kevin Gameiro to Diego Simeone's side.
The 22-year-old only moved to the Vicente Calderon during the last summer transfer window after Atletico beat a number of European suitors for his services after agreeing to meet his €20m (£16.9m, $22.3m) release clause at Villarreal.
However, the promising forward has been linked with a move away from the Champions League runners-up since the beginning of the summer after he failed to make the impact expected in his debut season under Simeone.
Earlier in June his agent, Jorge Cyterszpiler, revealed that both Barcelona and Sevilla had approached him regarding a summer move for his client although warning them that the competition will be high.
He said: "There are about 15 clubs interested in him: Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Villarreal, AC Milan, Inter, Roma, Lazio… I spoke with Lazio and they are a great club, but the competition is high."
Vietto later suggested that he wouldn't say no to a move to Barcelona as he dreamed about the possibility to play along his pal and compatriot Lionel Messi.
The player said to Mundo Deportivo: "Yes, I'd love to play with him [Messi]. Who would not? But I know nothing about Barcelona, only what I have seen on social networks and in the media. After finishing my holidays I'll make a decision."
Reports about his move to Barcelona increased in the following weeks after the Catalans failed to complete the signing of other reported targets like Nolito, Hatem Ben Arfa and Ousmane Dembele.
Vietto and Gameiro themselves reportedly emerged consequently as the two top candidates to bolster the Barcelona attack ahead of the 2016-2017 campaign.
Mundo Deportivo later claimed that the Argentinian had been the chosen one to move to the Nou Camp after Barcelona reached an agreement in principle with Atletico to sign the striker in a deal worth around €22m.
But only days later the same reports claimed that the deal was in risk to fell though after Sevilla joined the race as part of the negotiations between the two clubs for Gameiro himself.
Vietto had the final word and opted to turn down the Barcelona proposal to move to the Europe League winners amid concerns over his lack of playing time at the Nou Camp, as he was expected to be only a mere understudy for the MSN trio formed by Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Barcelona received a new indication that they will lose the Atletico Madrid forward earlier this week when Simeone left him out of the pre-season tour of Australia, with the Argentinian travelling instead to German to join the Sevilla camp ahead of completing his move to the Europe League winners.
Now the Andalucian side have confirmed that the saga is done after having agreed a loan deal with an option to get his services permanently at the end of the season. Sevilla added that Vietto's arrival is not linked to the departure of Gameiro to Atletico Madrid but "have been completed at the same time".
"Sevilla FC and Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement for Argentine striker Luciano Vietto to move on loan to Nervion for season 2016-2017," the club confirmed. "At the end of the loan, Sevilla FC will have a unilateral option to purchase the player."
"While this operation was closed we have has also agreed Kevin Gameiro's transfer to Atletico Madrid on favourable economic conditions for all parties," the added. "Vietto has already joined the Sevilla preseason stage in Germany while Gameiro left the Sevilla camp on Saturday morning."