Villarreal president Fernando Roig has confirmed the sale of coveted star Luciano Vietto to Atletico Madrid after Diego Simeone agreed to pay something around his €20m (£14.3m, $22.7m) release clause.
The 21-year-old Argentine forward has been heavily linked with a move away from the Madrigal Stadium after garnering a reputation as one of the most promising forwards around Europe during his debut campaign in La Liga, scoring 12 league goals plus a further eight in the Europa League.
Sky Sports claimed Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were said to be closely monitoring the situation while in March, his agent Jorge Cyterszpiler revealed both Liverpool and Real Madrid were also interested in securing his services ahead of next season.
"We know that a lot of big clubs are watching Luciano Vietto. There is a lot of competition for him. He could sign for Liverpool, we know that he is admired by the Reds, as well as Real Madrid and two Bundesliga clubs. I think he could leave Villarreal in the summer," his agent admitted on March.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to bolster the attacking line to fill the void left by the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona in 2014 and, according to his agent, Vietto was among the candidates to move to Anfield.
But earlier in June, Simeone confirmed Atletico Madrid had also earmarked him as one of their top priorities for the summer transfer window and now the Villarreal president have confirmed his move to the Vicente Calderon is all but done.
"We have finalised the sale of Vietto and Javier Aquino, to which we have to add the departure of Uche a few days ago. Vietto has been sold to Atletico Madrid," Roig said during a press conference, according to AS.
Atletico had previously sold Mario Mandzukic to Juventus while, according to the Spanish publication, they are also expected to beat AC Milan and Arsenal for the signing of Porto striker Jackson Martinez.