Real Madrid CF have signed Argentinian defender Gabriel Milito from CA Independiente Avellaneda.
The 22-year-old defender has become the Spanish champions' second acquisition of the close season after signing a four-year contract. He will join the club's other new recruit, David Beckham, in Carlos Quieroz's squad for the forthcoming campaign.
'The deal was done'
The Milito transfer was concluded on Tuesday after lengthy talks between Independiente president Andrés Ducatenzeiler and Madrid sporting director Jorge Valdano. "The clubs have agreed terms," said Ducatenzeiler. "I talked with Jorge Valdano and the deal was done. Now we just have to write it down."
Valdano said that there are only formalities to go through before Milito becomes a Madrid player. "We just have to see how the player responds physically," he said. "As soon as he passes medical tests, he will be a Real Madrid player."
However, with Milito on international duty with Argentina, Valdano admitted that the Spanish press might not get to see the player until 17 July. "He is with his national team and must play a game on 16 July," announced Valdano.
Milito will arrive at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium as a replacement for veteran central defender Fernando Hierro, whose contract was not renewed this summer. Initial rumours suggested the defender would join another club on loan in his first season in Spain, but he now looks certain to start the campaign with Madrid.