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CONFIRMADO: Ivo Grbić joins Atlético

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Atlético made another foray into the Balkan market to sign a new backup keeper.

Croatia v England: Group C - 2019 UEFA U-21 Championship Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid have completed its first transfer of the summer, as the club announced Croatia goalkeeper Ivo Grbić’s arrival on Thursday morning. The 24-year-old has joined from Lokomotiva Zagreb — which received academy goalkeeper Alex Dos Santos in exchange. Lokomotiva also will receive 15 percent of a future transfer fee.

Atlético had been linked with veterans Marko Dmitrović, Aitor Fernández and José Sa, but have opted instead for a younger understudy to Jan Oblak following now-departed Antonio Adán’s struggles as a backup. The club saved some money, too, paying roughly six million euros to sign Grbić — still a record fee for a Croatian shot-stopper. He’s also the squad’s second Croatian, alongside Šime Vrsaljko.

Grbić came up through domestic giant Hajduk Split’s academy, but moved to Lokomotiva in search of first-team chances. He helped his side to a second-place finish in the Prva HNL (Croatia’s top flight) in 2019/20 and has been called up for the national team’s Nations League fixtures next month.

The Split native stands 6’5’’, and some considered him the league’s best goalkeeper last season. He has been described as having massive potential, with strong reflexes that allow him to pull off crazy saves.

Hmmmmm. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?