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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 19, 2006

Torres commits to Atletico though door left ajar for exit

MADRID, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Spain striker Fernando Torres signed his one-year contract extension with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, though the door was left ajar for a possible move away from the Primera Liga club with a reduced buy-out clause.

The 22-year-old tied himself to Atletico until 2009 but the cost to buy him out of his contract was cut from 90 million euros ($113.9 million) to 40.

"This clause is nothing more than a symbolic gesture because if a player wants to leave a club, eventually he does," Torres told a news conference on Tuesday.

"The quantities involved are irrelevant because the thing that counts is the commitment of both parties, and their word.

"The fans asked me to stay and the club know other clubs offered large amounts of money but I have never said I wanted to leave. I hope I'll be here for more than just another three years."

Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said: "I don't think it will be the last contract he signs with Atletico. He has grown up here and his wish is to stay and win titles here."

Torres was a reported target for Manchester United and Inter Milan after the World Cup but rejected any approaches to stay with Atletico.

He joined the club aged 11, scored his first goal with the first team in May 2001, and has been their leading scorer in each of the last four seasons.

After a disappointing 10th-place finish last year Atletico have spent about 50 million euros reinforcing their squad and after three games are seventh in the new league campaign.

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