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Mexico striker Raul Jimenez reaches deal to join Benfica

Striker Raul Jimenez left Atletico Madrid to sign with Benfica on Thursday, the Portuguese club confirmed.

The Mexican international signed a five-year deal that will tie him to the club until 2020.

"Raul Jimenez is now a Benfica player! Welcome!" the club tweeted.

Jimenez had been rumoured to be headed out on loan to West Ham before the Benfica offer came in. The Times reported on Sunday that Jimenez had initially committed to West Ham but did not show up for his medical, telling the English club's management that had missed his flight to London because he had overslept.

Agent Jorge Mendes brokered the Benfica deal, according to AS, which includes the Portuguese club's acquisition of 50 percent of the player's rights for €3 million and a provision to share the player's salary with Atletico.

The 24-year-old told Benfica's official website: "I didn't play as much as I expected to [at Atletico], but I believe in my own ability and I want to prove I can help this team. I know very well that it won't be easy, but I'm at a great club and surrounded by high-quality teammates."

Benfica paid a reported €1m for the signing.

"A new stage in my career," Jimenez said via Instagram. "I am very happy to be a part of this great team. I am excited and committed to doing this well."

The option to join West Ham had included a season-long loan deal for €2m.

Jimenez joined Atletico last season but never broke into to Diego Simeone's starting lineup. He did not play a minute for Atleti over the preseason.


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