Joao Felix Agrees to 7-Year Contract with Atletico Madrid After Benfica Transfer

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2019

LISBON, PORTUGAL - APRIL 22: Joao Felix of SL Benfica celebrates scoring SL Benfica first goal during the Liga NOS match between SL Benfica and CS Maritimo at Estadio da Luz on April 22, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Joao Felix has completed his transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid.

The La Liga club announced their latest signing on Wednesday, on what was a busy day for the Rojiblancos:

Atletico also added Felix's contract will be for seven years. Geoff Gillingham of Marca notes Felix is now the fourth-most expensive transfer of all time, joining Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Phillipe Coutinho.

The Spaniards also announced the arrival of Porto's Hector Herrera, while Manchester City triggered the buyout clause in Rodri's contract.

Atleti emerged as front-runners to sign the 19-year-old in recent weeks despite reported interest from Manchester City and Manchester United.

Felix, a graduate of Benfica's youth academy, only made his senior debut for the Portuguese club in August last year.

He went on to enjoy a breakout season in 2018-19, netting 15 goals and providing nine assists in 26 appearances as Benfica reclaimed the Primeira Liga title.

The teenager also earned his first call-up to the Portugal national team, as well as playing a key role in Benfica's run to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals:

Atletico would not usually be able to compete financially with the likes of City and United for a player of Felix's value, but they look set to receive €120 million for Antoine Griezmann, who has announced he will leave the club this summer.

Felix could act as a direct replacement for the France international as he thrived in a central role last season but can also play on either flank:

He is still very young, though, so manager Diego Simeone may opt to gradually introduce him into the first team.

Atleti have taken a risk in spending such a huge fee on a player who has only had one good season at the top level, and it was in an inferior league to the Spanish top flight.

Felix has enormous potential, though, and if he makes good on his talent, he could be Atletico's attacking talisman for years to come.

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