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CONFIRMADO: Héctor Herrera in, Rodri out

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Atlético’s midfield reshuffle continues.

Sporting CP v FC Porto - Taca de Portugal FInal Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Busy, busy, busy.

Atlético Madrid carried on with their significant squad overhaul on Wednesday, as the club announced both the arrival of FC Porto captain Héctor Herrera and the departure of Rodrigo Hernández.

First things first — the new guy. Herrera was linked with Atlético for months before his Porto contract expired. The 29-year-old agreed terms on a three-year deal with the capital club some time ago but had to wait until his Liga NOS contract was up before he could be confirmed as a colchonero.

Herrera has won 70 caps for Mexico and established himself as a versatile, tough-tackling midfielder in Portugal. He scored six goals and completed over 86 percent of his passes in 2018/19. He missed just one game last season as well, and it is anticipated that he will provide an extra layer of depth and experience — and even some attacking punch — to Diego Simeone’s midfield. Herrera joins Koke, Saúl, Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey as Cholo’s options in the middle of the park.

Rodri is on his way to England after Atlético made clear to state that the academy product had “unilaterally” terminated his contract. The 23-year-old got off to a slow start in his second stint with Atleti but soon made himself indispensable in midfield with his short, sharp passing and outstanding defensive instincts.

But issues bubbled beneath the surface despite Rodri’s excellent season, and his relationship with Atlético appears to have ended rather acrimoniously — particularly after the club handed Llorente the #14 shirt with Rodri still on the books.

Rodri, a player in the Sergio Busquets mold, will likely succeed in a Manchester City setup that is better-equipped to get the best out of the Spain international. Pep Guardiola values the ball more than anything and Rodri will get to play the way he wants, with more emphasis on distribution and less on ball recoveries.

In addition, Atlético confirmed on Tuesday that Gelson Martins had been sold to Monaco — he posted a very nice tribute afterwards — and Herrera’s Porto teammate Felipe Monteiro has arrived in the capital to sign his three-year contract.