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Benfica confirm Atlético offer for João Félix

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The club-record move is one step closer to completion.

Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final : First Leg Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Portuguese champions Benfica confirmed Wednesday night that they have received an offer from Atlético Madrid for 19-year-old forward João Félix.

Benfica issued the release because the club is listed on the Portuguese stock market, and as a result their operations must be made public. However, this announcement is essentially a formality and clears the final hurdle before João Félix’s transfer can be finalized.

Atlético have made a €126 million offer for the teenage sensation — €6m over his release clause. Atleti apparently want to pay for the player in installments, as the club cannot come up with that kind of cash on demand.

Less than 10 days ago, Benfica slammed reports that a deal for João was done. The player had agreed a five-year contract with Atlético by that time (the reports varied on what wages Atlético offered him), and it is now clear that statement was intended to protect the Portuguese club’s dignity as they tried to negotiate a payment plan with Atleti.

The transfer is not complete yet, but it’s in the home stretch. It is widely anticipated that it will be confirmed in the next few days — and it will rank as one of the five most-expensive deals in history.