Marcos Llorente has pledged his full commitment to Atletico Madrid – after his move from city rivals Real appeared to nudge Rodri towards the exit door.
Llorente’s move last week for a reported 40million euros (£35.75m) saw him follow his father Paco Llorente Gento in moving between the Madrid giants.
After five years of sporadic first-team appearances in all white, the 24-year-old is switching to red and white stripes – although the more interesting detail of his new shirt is perhaps the number 14 on the back, worn up to now by fellow midfielder Rodri who is a widely reported target for Premier League champions Manchester City.
“I wear it naturally,” Llorente told Marca. “I know (moving from Real to Atletico) doesn’t happen often but it was the best thing for me and I’m happy and glad to be here.
“I’m coming with hard work and commitment to help the team when I need to and fight together for this shirt.
“My family and I believed this was going to be the best thing for me. I’m very happy and excited, my family and I can’t wait to get started.”
Llorente admitted Atleti coach Diego Simeone was a major draw for him.
“He has spoken to me, he welcomed me and showed his confidence in me,” he said.
“There’s not much I can say (about him) that you don’t know already. He’s a coach with a winning mentality and a great ability to get this across to his players.
“I love the idea of working with him. It was his character as much as the club’s project that attracted me and I didn’t think twice about coming.
“I was sure that I wanted to come to an ambitious project and to a place that had confidence in me and gambled to get me, those two things are here.”