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Atlético send Roro Riquelme to Girona for 2022/23 season

The club also extended the midfielder's contract to 2028.

Numancia v Atletico de Madrid - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid on Monday announced promising midfielder Rodrigo "Roro" Riquelme Reche's loan to newly-promoted Girona — in addition to a contract extension that will link the homegrown playmaker to Los Colchoneros until 2028.

Marca reports Roro's new contract will have a €60 million release clause, and the Catalan club will cover the player's salary while he’s playing at Montilivi.

Riquelme starred at second-tier Mirandés a season ago, scoring seven goals and registering 12 assists across 36 games. Top figures at Atlético, including Diego Simeone and sporting director Andrea Berta, are convinced the 22-year-old will be ready to take hold of a first-team place upon his return from this latest loan spell.

Girona won the race for Riquelme amid interest from several Primera clubs, including Elche, Valencia, Rayo Vallecano, and fellow newly-promoted side Valladolid. Rayo's consolation prize might be Roro's teammate Sergio Camello, with local reports indicating the 21-year-old forward will play at Vallecas on loan instead.

Roro joined Atlético's academy as a 10-year-old and steadily rose up the ranks before making his debut under Simeone in a 3-2 win over Eibar in September 2019. His breakthrough campaign at Mirandés last season came after a disappointing campaign with AFC Bournemouth in the Sky Bet Championship, and there was some talk that Cholo even contemplated handing the versatile midfielder a spot in the 2022/23 squad.

Ultimately, though, the club decided a third loan spell would benefit the player the most.

Girona are back in LaLiga after a three-year absence. Thanks to operating under the City Football Group umbrella, the club has been able to acquire New York City FC forward Taty Castellanos — the second-ranked scorer in Major League Soccer — on a loan deal this summer. Forward Cristhian Stuani also remained with the team throughout its three-year stay in Segunda, and he was critical to helping Girona return to the top flight via the promotional playoffs earlier this summer.