Merida to join Atletico Madrid for free in JulyJanuary 5th, 2010 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS
Madrid, Jan 5 (DPA) Promising midfielder Fran Merida is to leave Arsenal and join Atletico Madrid in July, according to Madrid sports daily AS Tuesday.
AS claims that Merida, 19, has agreed to a five-year contract with Atletico.
His Arsenal contract finishes in June, which means that he will be a free agent to join any club of his choice.
Merida was born in Barcelona and joined the Barcelona junior sections at the age of eight. However, in 2005 he followed the example of Cesc Fabregas and left to join Arsenal, where he made his first-team debut in 2007.
He was part of the Spanish Under-17 team that won the European championship in 2007.
One player who will not be joining Atletico Madrid, in the end, is Cristian Molinaro. Atletico were close on Monday to securing a six-month loan of Molinaro from Juventus, but the left-back now appears to be heading for VfB Stuttgart.
Atletico are still keen, however, on taking Juventus midfielder Tiago on loan. They are also close to signing winger Eduardo Salvio from Argentine club Lanus.
Last week Atletico sold unwanted striker Florent Sinama Pongolle to Sporting Lisbon.
Atletico are currently 11th in La Liga, having moved out of the relegation zone in recent weeks.
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Tags: arsenal, atletico madrid, barcelona, club lanus, dpa, fabregas, fran merida, free agent, junior sections, juventus, midfielder, pongolle, relegation zone, salvio, sporting lisbon, Sports, striker, team debut, tiago, winger