Las Palmas confirm Vitolo loan as part of Atletico Madrid move
Las Palmas have confirmed they expect to get Spain international Vitolo on loan for the first half of the 2017-18 season, once the winger completes a €40 million move from current club Sevilla to purchaser Atletico Madrid.
Victor Machin, known as Vitolo, is a key target in Rojiblanco coach Diego Simeone's plan to strengthen his squad. However, a FIFA ban means that Atletico cannot register any new players until January 2018.
A potential solution would be for the Las Palmas-born player, 27, to spend six months back at his hometown club on loan, with Marca claiming that Las Palmas president Miguel Angel Ramirez was in Madrid on Monday to personally agree the details with the Atletico chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin.
On Tuesday, Las Palmas sporting director Toni Cruz told a news conference that Ramirez's trip to the capital had been a success, although a deal between Atletico and Sevilla was not yet completed.
"Everyone knows that the president was in Madrid and concluded the negotiations which he took charge of directly," Cruz said. "The president has told us, and authorised us to say, that he has reached an agreement with Miguel Angel Gil Marin so that if Atletico buy Vitolo, he will be here until January."
Reports say a deal could be done before July 12 when Vitolo is due back at preseason training with Sevilla, who he joined from Las Palmas for just €3m back in summer 2013. Should the player's current €40m clause be triggered, reports say the islanders would be set to receive 12.5 percent, or €5m in total.
New Las Palmas first-team coach Manolo Martinez welcomed the news -- recalling that Vitolo has scored three times while playing regularly for La Roja in their World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign.
"In half a season Vitolo can give us a lot," Martinez said. "It is a gift for us, even if just for four and a half months. He is a fixture in the Spain national team, which says it all."
Former Spain, Atletico and Deportivo La Coruna playmaker Juan Carlos Valeron, new assistant coach at his hometown club, also told the event that he was delighted with the news.
"It is an incredible situation, a fairytale to have him for with us," Valeron said. "He will create a lot of excitement and motivate us all. I hope he feels good here, and it goes well for everyone."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan