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Page last updated at 19:16 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 20:16 UK

Arsenal lose Merida to Atletico

Fran Merida
Merida joined Arsenal in 2006

Arsenal midfielder Fran Merida is to return to Spain after he signed for Atletico Madrid on a free transfer.

The 20-year-old Merida, who has joined on a four-year deal, has been at Arsenal since 2006 after he was signed by boss Arsene Wenger from Barcelona.

But he failed to break into the first-team and last season was only used as a substitute in four league games.

He scored against Bolton in the league and started four games in the Carling and FA Cups and the Champions League.

Merida also scored a stunning goal in Arsenal's 2-1 Carling Cup win over Liverpool in October.

The Spaniard, whose contract with Arsenal expires on 30 June, is due to be presented by the Europa League champions at the Vicente Calderon stadium on Friday.


Atletico also confirmed on Tuesday that Quique Sanchez Flores has renewed his contract as the coach for one season.

Flores, who previously coached both Valencia and Getafe as well as Portuguese giants Benfica, took over from Abel Resino in October 2009.

The 45-year-old Flores guided Atletico to a 2-1 Europa League final win over Fulham - the Spanish club's first major trophy since 1996 - though they lost 2-0 in Sevilla in the Spanish Cup final.

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see also
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham (aet)
12 May 10 |  Europe

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