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Vitolo saga: What we know so far, or what we think we know

The deal is said to be signed and sealed now, but not by the player involved in the snafu.

Spain v Israel - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Víctor Machín - Vitolo - and Sevilla handed Atlético Madrid a blow on Monday when club Pepe Castro announced that the player had signed a new five-year deal during a presentation for two other players. There was talk of a pay rise and a €50 million release clause. But on Tuesday, word began to filter through that the player had not signed the contract offered to him and was annoyed by the assertion that he had.

Radio station Cadena SER now report that Vitolo has taken a private flight to Madrid from Sevilla and LaLiga are waiting for Atlético to pay the termination clause for the player as he tries to push through a move to a club he had chosen as his next destination. And that was helped by an “un-rejectable” offer by Atletico after it was announced that he had signed his extension. It won’t be as high as Antoine Griezmann’s or Koke’s, but it is substantially higher than Sevilla’s offer of, reportedly, €3 million per year. Cadena SER and Onda Cero believe it is in the region of €5 million, which would automatically make him one of Atletico’s highest earners.

Castro and Sevilla are furious, as the contract was signed by everyone in Vitolo’s party - except for the player himself. The ball is in Atletico’s court to now pay the €36 million required to release the player from his contract and you have to believe that Sevilla will do everything in their power to make sure every last cent of that is paid. Sevilla are even claiming that the €36 million is actually €50 million based on the new contract’s clause.

“We have an agreement that was signed yesterday by his agents and parents that agreed on the length of the contract, money and everything,” Castro said.

To complicate matters further for Atlético possibly, Chelsea have reportedly kept an eye on the situation. With Vitolo’s Sevilla career hanging by a thread, the Nervión side might be willing to send him to London for a smaller fee to avoid doing business with Atlético.

So, the deal was signed, sealed and delivered just not by the player involved. There’s more to come in this story.