As expected, Atlético Madrid have confirmed the signing of Celta Vigo midfielder Augusto Fernández in a deal thought to be worth around €6.5m.
The Argentine international has signed a 3-and-a-half-year deal with the rojiblancos, and re-unites with Diego Simeone after winning the league under his command at River Plate back in 2008.
Augusto is the man that Cholo requested to replace Tiago in the midfield pivot, after the Portuguese veteran suffered a broken bone in his leg against Espanyol back towards the end of November.
Capable of playing both wide and in the centre, the 29 year-old has been an influential figure just in front of Celta’s defence in their rise to the top 4 of La Liga this season.
Having started his career at River – where Simeone managed him for just under a year – Augusto originally made the move to Europe in 2009 with French outfit St-Étienne, but moved back to his homeland after a low-key spell.
He went on to join Celta in 2012 after an excellent couple of years at Vélez Sarsfield, where he developed into an all-action goalscoring midfielder and a leader of the team, winning his second Argentine title in the process.
Reports state that Velez will take a percentage of his transfer fee, which could be up to around a half depending on who you believe.
At Celta he has gone from strength to strength, particularly since compatriot Eduardo Berizzo took the reigns 18 months ago. He was also named captain last year after Borja Oubiña left the club.
Last night, he played his last match for the Celestes as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Athletic, going off to an ovation from the whole stadium in the closing stages.
Raúl García scored the only goal of the game, and he revealed in an interview on Cadena SER afterwards that he told Augusto that he was joining “a great group”.
Our new man has 9 caps for Argentina, making his debut back in 2011 in a friendly against Brazil. He scored his only goal for his country a couple of years later in a 4-0 success against Guatemala, and was a World Cup runner-up in 2014.
At this key stage in the season, he brings experience and versatility to Atleti’s midfield, and should slot right in given he knows the league and the manager already.
However, he will have to wait for his debut as he can’t be registered until January 4th, so could end up making his league debut against Celta in Balaídos the following week.
Joining Augusto at the club this week is Matías Kranevitter, another former River midfielder who is cut from a similar cloth. The 22 year-old landed in Madrid on Tuesday and went straight into training with the squad.
What do you make of this signing? Is Augusto the right man to fill Tiago’s boots?