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 By Ben Gladwell

Atletico Madrid confirm signing of Alessio Cerci from Torino

Arsenal target Alessio Cerci has completed his switch from Torino to Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

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The club made the announcement via Twitter, saying: "Alessio Cerci has passed his medical and signed a contract. Welcome Cerci."

The Italy international winger's future had been the subject of intense speculation all summer with Serie A rivals AC Milan believed to be leading the chase for much of the time.

Arsenal were then touted as the most likely destination before a Tweet appeared on the player's own account confirming he had signed for Atletico.

That was removed soon after, with the player claiming his account had been hacked, but only a week later, he has indeed signed for Diego Simeone's side after a fee reported to be in the region of 14 million euros was agreed between the two clubs on Sunday night.

The move was made official after the 27-year-old passed his medical on Monday and he joins Mario Mandzukic, Raul Jimenez and Antoine Griezmann as new attacking recruits at the Vicente Calderon this summer. 

Cerci explained the reasons behind his move to the Spanish champions in a letter posted on his Facebook page.

The Italy international said it was a difficult decision to make, but in the end, he had to pursue his dreams and accept the challenge of proving himself at the highest level.

"It has never been as difficult as it is trying to explain what I feel in this moment," he wrote. "These have been complicated months spent trying hard to find answers to many questions. I was fighting with myself to the very last minute: do I take this big step or do I stay in the city which has given me back my life and glory?

"Anybody who does this job wants to play for a big club, to measure themselves with the strongest players in the world and run out in the most famous, prestigious venues. Believe me, I waited until the very end for a decent [new contract] offer to arrive, and I hoped that it would come, but it didn't.

"So I looked serenely at the chance I was being given, one which I hope will allow me to enjoy all of the satisfaction I had always wanted, the chance I hope that will make everybody realise that Cerci is not just the hot head they have been describing for many years and that he is not only capable of making a difference at a small club, but that he can do so alongside big champions too.

"I'd like to thank [Torino] coach Giampiero Ventura because it is thanks to him that I have arrived on such a big stage as Atletico. He promised it to me, and he delivered. Thanks to everybody at Torino FC, from the president to the kitman who have always made me feel at home, loved and cuddled me at every moment."


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