Atlético Madrid have agreed to terms with German side Wolfsburg to acquire Brazilian playmaker Diego on loan for the next season. Atlético directors Clemente Villaverde and José Luís Pérez Caminero flew to Wolfsburg yesterday to negotiate for the Brazilian, and will fly back to Madrid today with a one year loan deal. With this signing, Atleti will close their squad for the rest of the year.
A few years ago, Diego was one of the absolute pearls of the Bundesliga, scoring majestic goals in the mold of Kaká or Portugal's Deco; since then, his name has been bandied about every year, but nothing has come of the rumors. Incidentally, he's still a top-quality player with an incredible eye for the game and knack for making the right pass at the right time.
He'll slot into Atlético's starting center midfield spot, probably in the offensive trident of a 4-2-3-1, next to Mario Suárez and either Gabi or Tiago. The rojiblanco coach Gregorio Manzano is planning on playing with a single forward (Falcao), flanked by a trio of offensive midfielders. Diego should fit well into this system, though it might take him a few weeks to figure out how his teammates play (which is totally reasonable).
This signing only helps my theory that, despite recent results, Atleti will be a major force in Spain this year (not that that means anything--they've already lost the Liga by drawing 0-0 to Osasuna in the first game).