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European football

Benfica confirm 126m euro offer for Felix from Atletico

Benfica's Joao Felix would become the fifth most expensive signing in history if the deal goes through

Benfica are evaluating an 126 million euros offer for Portugal forward Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid, the Portuguese club said in a statement on Wednesday.

If terms are agreed, the 19-year-old would become the most expensive player in Atletico’s history, smashing the La Liga side’s transfer fee record of 72 million euros to sign France winger Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco last season.

“Atletico Madrid submitted a proposal for the acquisition of Felix for a total amount of 126,000,000 euros which is being analysed,” Benfica said in a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission.

Felix would become the fifth most expensive signing in history after Neymar, who holds the record after his 222 million euro move to Paris St Germain in 2017, Kylian Mbappe (180 million euros), Philippe Coutinho (142 million pounds) and Ousmane Dembele (105 million euros).

Felix scored 19 times for Benfica last season, which included 15 league goals and a memorable Europa League hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt which made him the youngest player to accomplish the feat in the competition.

An uptick in performances towards the end of the season earned him a call-up to the Portugal national team where he made his international debut and partnered Cristiano Ronaldo up front in their UEFA Nations League semi-final win over Switzerland.

Atletico have been in the market for a forward after talismanic striker Antoine Griezmann said last month that he would leave in the close season.

The France international’s release clause drops from 200 million euros to 120 million euros on July 1, and Spanish media reported that he has agreed personal terms with La Liga champions Barcelona.

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