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The Summer of Sagas: Atlético Madrid’s summer drags on

Vitolo is the latest to reject Atlético after signing an extension with Sevilla

Spain v Colombia - International Friendly Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The summer of sagas continues for Atlético Madrid as Vitolo has signed a new deal with Sevilla that will keep him at the Andalusian club until 2022 and will increase his release clause to €50 million. The move was confirmed by club president Pepe Castro, who said “we are delighted as he is one of ours.”

It’s not the first target Atlético have lost out on this summer. Sandro’s willingness to come to the club led him to a move to Everton instead and Alexandre Lacazette’s “club of his heart” (read: Atlético) turned out not to really want him before he took a plane to London to join Arsenal.

Vitolo is just the latest in a long line of failures by the club’s board to build on the potential that is already within the squad. Vitolo, who is keen to play for Spain at the World Cup next year (obviously) did not want to sit out for four months before returning to play in January when Atletico can register players again. He is from the Canary Islands and Las Palmas were mentioned as a temporary landing spot on loan but Atlético struggled to help the deal along. Their stalling led to Sevilla convincing the player with a pay rise.

Prominent Spanish journalist Ruben Uría took to Twitter to vent his anger at the deal. He said in the tweet below that nobody has been responsible for anything happening at Atlético, what with the transfer ban, Sandro and now Vitolo.

He also goes on to state that Diego Costa wants to come, is not wanted at Chelsea, is willing to sit out and wait until January and even that deal is dragging on. There can be a new badge, a new stadium, a new club song and a new mascot but the decisions at boardroom level are signs of long-standing problems within the club.

Antoine Griezmann decided to stay, sure, but that was based on his better nature. Despite the fact that it is a victory for Atlético, it is still not based on anything that happened in the boardroom, or maybe in spite of some very bad decisions at Atleti HQ.

Theo Hernández was presented at Real Madrid on Monday night, a player so furious with how he was treated by the club that he was willing to pass up moves to other clubs in order to sign with a rival to prove a point. “He knows what he’s doing,” Saúl said last week. He does, and while you can blame the player, it’s hard to absolve a board with previous signs of incompetence.

Give thanks for Simeone, Uría says, as any other manager would be running from the club. They say there is nine months of winter and three months of hell in Madrid. Maybe the three months of hell they are referring to are Atlético’s dealings in the transfer market.