After 101 appearances, three trophies, and as many yellow cards as goals (seven), Vitolo is departing Atlético Madrid.
Vitolo — once the second-most expensive player in club history — is on his way to Getafe. The azulones will introduce him Monday, per a statement, and Atlético will be on the hook for a portion of the 31-year-old’s salary next season, the last one on the five-year contract he signed in 2017.
Though he occasionally showed off the qualities that made Diego Simeone such a huge fan, Vitolo’s transfer was a spectacular failure overall. The ex-Sevilla star signed for Atlético in a controversial €37 million deal, completed while the club was under a transfer ban — as a result, his debut was delayed until January 2018. Injuries interrupted his initial attempts to break into the team — the winger arrived in Madrid with a knee problem sustained during a six-month loan at boyhood club Las Palmas, and he missed a chunk of the 2018 Europa League-winning campaign (including the final) with a separate injury.
Vitolo was healthier the past two seasons, but ultimately never found form long enough to be counted on. Simeone threw in the towel once and for all last winter, and the player received only 292 minutes for the 2020/21 league champions.
Vitolo reportedly wanted to stay within the city limits and pushed to join Getafe — who have a new coach in Míchel, and therefore a new project post-Pepe Bordalás. Atlético could replace him with young Brazilian-born Portuguese winger Marcos Paulo, whose signing should be confirmed next week.
Atleti are also rumored to have interest in Paris Saint-Germain winger Pablo Sarabia (another former Sevilla player), who has performed well for Spain at EURO 2020.