Valencia have completed the signing of Kevin Gameiro from Atletico Madrid, reportedly costing the Mestalla club €16million.
By Ryan Benson
Kevin Gameiro has been presented as a Valencia player after completing his move from Atletico Madrid and is aiming to make his debut against his former club.
The France international initially joined Atletico in 2016 after impressing at Sevilla, but he was rarely considered first-choice despite costing them a reported €32million at the time.
He made just 11 starts in LaLiga last term, though he still managed to score seven times as Diego Simeone’s men finished second to Barcelona in Spain’s top tier.
Although Gameiro was considered a viable option both out wide and in attack, the pre-season arrivals of Gelson Martins, Nikola Kalinic and Thomas Lemar saw him fall even further down the pecking order, and Atletico have reportedly managed to recoup €16m for the 31-year-old.
Gameiro has become Valencia’s second attacking reinforcement in quick succession following the loan arrival of Michy Batshuayi and he plans to be available to face Atletico as his new side get their LaLiga campaign started on August 20.
“Perhaps,” Gameiro told a news conference when asked if he will be ready for the visit of Atletico. “I have a little time left to get there [in terms of fitness]. I have a week to be here and prepare for the game.”
According to speculations, Simeone and Atletico were reluctant to sell Gameiro, particularly to a team which will likely be a direct rival of theirs in the top four this season.
But in securing the switch, Gameiro finds himself somewhere he has wanted to be for quite some time.
“It was not easy, but as the president has said, it has long been clear in my head [that he wanted to join Valencia],” Gameiro said. “Now I’m here and I’m very happy. This gives you a lot of confidence to come. I will work hard to try to do many great things here.”
Gameiro has signed a three-year deal at Valencia.