July 31, 2018 / 9:32 PM / 4 months ago

Atletico sign defender Arias, loan Vrsaljko to Inter

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Colombia Press Conference - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 23, 2018 Colombia's Santiago Arias during the press conference REUTERS/John Sibley

MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid have signed Colombia right back Santiago Arias from Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven to replace Croatia’s Sime Vrsaljko who has been loaned to Inter Milan.

“Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven have reached an agreement to transfer Santiago Arias to our club. The right back becomes a new Atletico player after signing for the next five seasons,” said a statement from the Liga side on Tuesday.

Arias, 26, joined PSV in 2013 after a two-year spell with Sporting in Portugal and won the Eredvisie title three times, being named the league’s Player of the Year in his final season. He started all four of Colombia’s games at the 2018 World Cup.

The signing of Arias was announced at the same time as the loan agreement with Inter for right back Vrsaljko, who also impressed in Russia, starting six of Croatia’s seven games on their run to the World Cup final, where they lost 4-2 to France.

“Our club has reached a deal with Inter Milan, subject to the formalisation of documents and a medical, for the loan of Sime Vrsaljko,” said a separate statement from Atletico.

“After two seasons defending our club, in which he has demonstrated his talent and sacrifice, we want to wish him all the luck in his new era with Inter, who have an option to buy the player.”

Europa League holders Atletico are on a pre-season tour in Singapore and play in the UEFA Super Cup against city rivals Real Madrid on Aug. 15 in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris

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