Atletico Madrid have signed Argentinian playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme from Villarreal, according to reports in Spain.
The deal will be concluded on Thursday, with Riquelme signing a two-year contract with an additional year option.
Riquelme, who fell out of favour with Villarreal’s coach Manuel Pellegrini and recently returned on loan to Boca Juniors in his homeland, had earlier said he would be willing to play for nothing if hard-up Boca could afford his transfer fee.
The 29-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Boca and helped the club to success in the Copa Libertadores but the club could not afford his signature. Riquelme had been training on his own since the start of the new season.
Atletico, having sold striker Fernando Torres to Liverpool, have embarked upon a massive spending spree which has seen them s[pend €77m on Christian Abbiati on loan from Milan, midfielder Luis Garcia from Liverpool, Riquelme’s former Villarreal teammate Diego Forlan, Portuguese forward Simao and Jose Antonio Reyes from Arsenal.