Atletico Madrid have loaned striker Luciano Vietto to Valencia for the rest of the season, with the deal including an option for a permanent deal.
Vietto, 24, has struggled at Atletico since his €20 million arrival from Villarreal two years ago, and has not found the net in 10 games across all competitions for the Rojiblancos so far this season.
The Argentine did, however, get 20 goals during his breakout campaign in 2014-15, when his coach at Villarreal was current Valencia boss Marcelino Garcia Toral.
A Valencia statement reads: “On Thursday, Valencia CF reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid, pending formalisation, for the loan until 30th June 2018, with an option to buy, of Argentinian forward Luciano Vietto. The player will be presented this afternoon to the media at the Paterna Training Complex after the evening training session.”
Under contract with Atletico until June 2021, Vietto turned down earlier this week the option to join Sporting CP after the two clubs had agreed a move that would see the player join the Portuguese side. Vietto’s move to the Mestalla stadium will see him work again under his former Villarreal coach Marcelino.
Speaking to reporters on arrival at Valencia airport on Wednesdy ahead of his medical, Vietto said: “I am very happy to be here in Valencia, and wanted to come here.
“Marcelino’s call was very important for me. I hope I can give my best by his side [again].”
— Valencia CF (@valenciacf) January 4, 2018
Speaking on Tuesday, Atletico coach Diego Simeone said: “I hope he will join a competitive team where he can keep improving.
“I am annoyed with his exit as he has played very well for us but the goals just did not come. Hopefully he will get elsewhere what he lacked here. He is a good kid and extraordinary player.”
Vietto provided 10 goals and five assists when on loan at Sevilla in 2015-16, although the Sanchez Pizjuan side then declined to sign him on a permanent basis the following summer.
ESPN FC’s Spain correspondent Adriana Garcia contributed to this report
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan