Real Madrid have signed cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid’s Theo Hernandez in what is just the third transfer between the two clubs in their long and illustrious history. The Frenchman became the first signing between the two clubs after a 17 year gap after Real splashed out a reported 30 million Euros for the young left-back. He has signed a six-year contract with Los Blancos and will be officially presented as a player on July 10 following a medical.
The left back’s brother Lucas plays for Atletico, and their father Jean-Francois also turned out for the club. The last player to transfer straight from Atletico to Real was Argentinean midfielder Santiago Solari in 2000. On that occasion, Atletico had been relegated from Spain’s top flight.
The France U-20 player joined Atletico Madrid in 2008 aged 11 but never made a first team appearance for the Colchoneros. “The player, who was contracted until 2021, has rejected numerous offers of a new deal from Atletico and other European clubs, reiterating his desire to play for Real Madrid,” Atletico said in a statement.
The decision would come as a brutal blow for Atletico Madrid who are barred from signing players after last month seeing their appeal against a transfer ban for the illegal signing of minors rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Atletico cannot register new players until January 2018.
Hernandez impressed on loan at Alaves last season, making 32 La Liga appearances for the Basques and scoring a stunning consolation in the 3-1 Copa del Rey final defeat by Barcelona – ironically played at the Vicente Calderon stadium (Atletico’s old stadium) in his only competitive appearance there.
This is a change in policy at Real Madrid with the club focusing on signing youngsters and keeping an eye on the future. Besides Hernandez, the next player on agenda for those at the Santiago Bernabeu is Euro Under-21 player of the tournament Dani Ceballos.