UPDATED: De Paul Officially Leaves Udinese to Join Atletico Madrid

Rodrigo De Paul has departed from Italy and Udinese and to move to Atletico Madrid. The parties waited for the end of Copa America for the announcement, but the move had been finalized weeks ago. The Friulani accepted a €35M bid plus add-ons, close to their €40M request, transfer market expert Alfredo Pedullà reports. Instead, the Serie A clubs did not seriously push to acquire him this summer because of his price tag.

The Argentinian international was evidently clear about his future in a recent interview with the Guardian. Moreover, he told his club that being coached by Diego Simeone would be a dream come true. Udinese initially rejected an offer that included defender Nehuen Perez, asking just cash. They did not drive a hard bargain once the Colchoneros complied with their request.

De Paul has inked a five-year contract and will earn around €3.5M per year. He joined Udinese in 2016 for cheap from Valencia and grew exponentially over the years. The 27-year old has become one of the top playmakers in the Peninsula and a staple of the Albiceleste. He posted 9 goals and 10 assists in the most recent campaign. He keyed Argentina’s win over Brazil in the final by teeing up Angel Di Maria.

Milan had him on their list of options to replace Hakan Calhanoglu, but he was one of the most expensive ones. Inter have been extensively after him before signing Christian Eriksen, and recently added the Turk for free. Juventus and Napoli never pursued him too aggressively. De Paul has scored 34 times and has set up his teammates on 36 occasions in 184 total appearances in five seasons at Udinese.