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Reports: Gabi set to leave Atlético, join Qatari club

This does not appear to be a joke.

Olympique de Marseille v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid captain Gabi reportedly will leave his boyhood club in the coming days to sign with Qatari club Al Sadd, according to F.J. Díaz at AS.

Cadena SER and Cadena COPE also have reported that Gabi is on his way to the Middle East, while Marca’s Ainhoa Sánchez says the veteran midfielder is seriously considering the offer.

Gabi will sign a three-year contract worth about €6 million per annum with Xavi’s Al Sadd side. The 34-year-old is said to have spoken about this offer with Diego Simeone and other key figures at the club, and after a period of contemplation he has apparently decided to accept. Rodri’s arrival from Villarreal contributed to Gabi’s reported decision to leave — Atleti’s long-time captain knows his playing time will be cut next season, even as Atleti have offered him a new two-year contract in recent weeks.

The canterano started his career with Atlético but moved to Real Zaragoza in 2007 in order to receive first-team football. He became Zaragoza’s captain and returned to the capital in a €3 million deal in 2011. He took the captain’s armband early in Simeone’s tenure and has since lifted six trophies as a rojiblanco: the Europa League twice, the Copa del Rey, Spanish and European Super Cups, and of course LaLiga. His 417 games in red and white place him seventh on the club’s all-time appearances register.

Into the Calderón has not yet been able to confirm these reports. This post will be updated as we learn more.