Atletico Madrid confirm signing of Benfica's Joao Felix

Joao Felix
Image: Joao Felix has become one of the most expensive players of all time

Atletico Madrid have confirmed the signing of Benfica starlet Joao Felix for a club-record fee of £113m (€126m).

The 19-year-old Portugal international has signed a seven-year contract, keeping him at the club until June 2026.

He will wear the No 7 shirt currently worn by Antoine Griezmann during his time at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, meaning Atletico might be close to selling the wantaway striker.

The transfer fee means Felix becomes the fifth most expensive player of all time, and only the second most expensive teenager behind Kylian Mbappe, who cost Paris Saint-Germain £165m last summer.

It also eclipses the then-club record £62m that Atletico spent for Thomas Lemar last summer.

In a statement, Benfica confirmed Atletico will pay €30m upfront but will pay the rest in instalments after bidding €6m more than Felix's release clause of £107.6m (€120m).

Sky Sports News reported last week that the Portuguese club were evaluating Atletico's offer as they published a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission.

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The Spanish side announced the signing of the highly-rated 19-year-old midfielder through a video posted on their official Twitter feed, reading "welcome Joao Felix, pure talent".

Felix drew attention from a host of top European clubs after impressing last season with 20 goals in 43 competitive matches for Benfica, and earning a call-up to the Portugal squad, who won the inaugural Nations League finals.

He made his competitive debut in August after joining from Porto's youth system in 2015.

It comes on the same day Atletico signed Porto midfielder Hector Herrera and also confirmed Manchester City have activated midfielder Rodri's buy-out clause.

Why is Felix so highly rated?

A year ago Felix was still a Benfica reserve player, but 11 months after making his debut, he is now football's third most expensive player ever.

A run of 15 goals from 21 starts in his first Premeira Liga season has a lot to do with that, as well as his wonderful hat-trick in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

But there's plenty more behind the 19-year-old's sudden rise to the top. Read our in-depth profile on Atletico's newest young star here.

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