Atletico sign midfielder Kondogbia from Valencia

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Valencia v Atalanta - Mestalla, Valencia, Spain - March 10, 2020 Valencia's Geoffrey Kondogbia in action with Atalanta's Marten de Roon UEFA Pool/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Atletico Madrid have signed French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia from Valencia for an undisclosed fee, both La Liga clubs said on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old has signed a four-year contract with Atletico and replaces Thomas Partey, who joined Arsenal just before the transfer window closed after the Premier League club activated his 50-million-euro ($58.52 million) release clause.

La Liga rules allow clubs who have lost a player after their release clause was triggered to sign another player within a month provided they already play in Spain or are out of contract.

"Atletico Madrid and Valencia CF have reached an agreement over the transfer of Geoffrey Kondogbia," Atletico said in a statement. "The box-to-box footballer is a strong presence in midfield and contributes defensively and offensively."

Kondogbia began his career with French side Lens before moving to Sevilla and had an ugly confrontation with Atletico striker Diego Costa in a 2013 Copa del Rey tie.

He later moved to AS Monaco and Inter Milan, joining Valencia on loan in 2017 before completing a permanent move the following year.

($1 = 0.8544 euros)

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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