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Vitolo to join Atletico in 2018 after stint with Las Palmas

Spain v Israel - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

GIJON, SPAIN - MARCH 24: Victor Machin Perez ‘Vitolo’ of Spain reacts during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Spain and Israel at Estadio El Molinon on March 24, 2017 in Gijon, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

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MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid says Spain forward Victor “Vitolo” Machin has agreed to join the club when its ban on new players ends in January.

Until then, Atletico says Vitolo will leave current club Sevilla and play the first half of the upcoming season at his boyhood club in the Canary Islands, Las Palmas.

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The unorthodox agreement is Atletico’s way of getting around the FIFA-imposed ban from registering new players until 2018 for having broken rules regarding the transfer of underage players.

Atletico says that the 27-year-old Vitolo has agreed to a contract that will keep him at the club from 2018 until June 2022.

Vitolo helped Sevilla win three Europa League titles from 2014-16 and has been capped 11 times by Spain. He came up through Las Palmas’ youth program before joining Sevilla in 2013.