May 24, 2018 / 3:11 PM / a year ago

Soccer: Atletico sign Spain holding midfielder Rodri

Football Soccer - AS Roma v FC Villarreal - UEFA Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg - Olympic Stadium, Rome, Italy - 23/2/17 Villarreal's Rodri looks dejected Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi Livepic

MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid said on Thursday they have agreed to sign Spain international Rodri from Villarreal, announcing the 21-year-old holding midfielder as their first signing ahead of next season.

“Our club has reached an agreement with Villarreal for the transfer of Rodri. The midfielder, who is from Madrid will be an Atletico player as of July 1 for the next five seasons,” said a statement from the La Liga runners-up.

The 21-year-old made his Spain debut in a 1-1 draw against Germany in a friendly on March 23. He was left out of Julen Lopetegui’s 23-man squad for next month’s World Cup in Russia but has been named in the seven-player reserve list.

Rodri came through Atletico’s youth academy but finished his footballing education at Villarreal, making his Liga debut in 2016. He played in 37 of the team’s 38 league games this past campaign, in which they finished fifth in the standings.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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