Ecuador striker Christian Benitez is close to sealing a summer move to Atletico Madrid, according to his national coach.
Benitez, 26, who currently plays with America of Mexico, has impressed during Ecuador’s excellent World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign, and scored again in March’s 4-1 win over Paraguay in Quito which kept them firmly on track to qualify for the finals in Brazil.
With Radamel Falcao continually linked with a move away from the Vicente Calderon this summer, most recently this week to Manchester United, Atletico will likely be in the market for a replacement this summer. Mundo Deportivo reported on Wednesday that Atleti boss Diego Simeone had already talked to the player by phone.
Amarillos boss Reinaldo Rueda told Radio Rumba Deportiva that his information was that talks between Los Colchoneros and Benitez were “advanced”.
“It seems like things are advanced, but we all know in football it is better to say nothing until the contracts are signed,” Rueda said. “He would be a good signing for Atleti or any other club. Christian has worked hard, he is playing excellently with his club. He offers something integral for the national team. He is very motivated. I am convinced he would do very well and I hope he can do it.”
Benitez was top scorer in the Mexican ‘Apertura’ championship of 2012, with 37 goals in 42 games, and subsequently won the ‘Player of the Season award. His numbers have slipped this season, but are still more than respectable with 20 goals in 32 games played to date.