Barcelona had identified Rodrid as the long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets. Getty

Atletico Madrid are said to have beaten Barcelona to the signing of Villarreal sensation Rodri Hernandez in a deal worth €20m (£17.6m, $23.6m) plus €5m in add-ons.

Marca claims that Los Colchoneros and the Yellow Submarine have already "completed an agreement" for the 21-year-old holding midfielder to move to Diego Simeone's side at the end of the current season.

Rodri left the Atletico academy to join Villarreal in the summer of 2013 after been deemed surplus requirements by the Madrid-based side due to his height.

However, he has since grown to six foot two inches tall and has developed as one of the most promising young midfielders in Spanish football.

The Villarreal sensation was indeed part of the Spain squad defeated by Germany in the Under-21 European Championship final last summer and many in Spain already see him as the long-term replacement for Barcelona ace Sergio Busquets in the senior squad.

Over the weekend Spanish publication AS reported that Barcelona planned to move to sign Rodri in the summer after having identified him as the perfect successor for the 29-year-old midfielder.

But it appears the Catalans will have to look elsewhere to find a long-term replacement for their club hero with AS rivals Marca now claiming that Atletico are set to win the race for Rodri.

Marca says that Barcelona did express an interest in recent days but the Catalans have already been informed that the midfielder has decided to return to Atletico on a five-year deal until 2023.

Rodri only signed a new long-term contract at Villarreal earlier this month but the report says that Atletico have agreed to pay his current side almost all his €25m release clause to lure the Barcelona target back to the new Wanda Metropolitano ahead of the 2018-2019 campaign.

The report says that the agreement between the clubs is complete and will take shape once the current financial year is over.

Simeone has been on the hunt for a new holding midfielder for a while with Gabi due to turn 35 next year and Tiago having decided to hang up his boots at the end of last season.

The Argentine boss was unable to make any additions to his squad during the last summer transfer window after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) upheld their Fifa transfer embargo.

However, Diego Costa and Vitolo will join Atletico once the transfer window reopens in January and Marca understand that Rodri will follow in their footsteps in the summer.