Atletico Madrid sign Dutch defender Heitinga

July 9, 2008

MADRID, July 9 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid have signed Netherlands defender John Heitinga from Ajax on a five-year contract, the Primera Liga club confirmed on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old, who can play at right back and centre back, will be presented at the Calderon on Thursday after having agreed a deal back in March when he said Atletico were paying his €10 million buyout clause.

He has already passed a medical.

Heitinga represented his country at Euro 2008, has won 39 caps, and was crowned Netherlands' player of the year in April.

Atletico have also signed Czech Republic defender Tomas Ujfalusi, French striker Florent Sinama Pongolle, France goalkeeper Gregory Coupet and Brazilian midfielder Paulo Assuncao.

Javier Aguirre's side are in the third qualifying round of the Champions League after finishing fourth in the Primera Liga last season.