Saturday, 17th April 2010

Atletico Madrid have begun to reshape their squad for next season by signing Fran Merida from Arsenal on a free transfer. The young midfielder had been linked with a return to his native Spain upon the completion of his Arsenal contract on 30th June, and today El Mundo Deportivo have reported the deal as done.

The 20-year-old, who has never played in his homeland’s La Liga, has signed a five-year deal with Atletico and hopes are high at the Vicente Calderon that Merida could yet turn into a player the equal of Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was reportedly keen to keep hold of the former Barcelona youth teamer and put a lucrative contract in front of him. However, what Wenger could not promise was the regular first team football Merida craves next season and at Atletico he feels he will have a greater chance of establishing himself.


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