Nicolás Gaitán is currently in the United States starring for Argentina at the Copa América but it hasn’t stopped Atlético Madrid announcing on their website that a deal has been agreed with Benfica to take the 28-year-old to the Estadio Vicente Calderón.
It is understood that Diego Simeone’s side will pay 25 million euros for the talented midfielder and according to the club the former Boca Juniors player ‘is scheduled to travel to the Spanish capital in July to complete the nessarary formalities.’
Talk of this agreement surfaced in May but was only made official by the Atleti on Thursday.
However, it was clear much earlier that Gaitán’s time in Lisbon was coming to an end after the fan favourite left the pitch close to tears late in the Portuguese league cup final and told reporters; “Many years at this club, they have treated me very well and the end is very near.”
Gaitán has enjoyed another superb season in Lisbon, scoring 11 times and adding 19 assists en route to a third league title in six years with the club and after more than 250 appearances with the Águias, it is time for another challenge.
Barely a transfer window has gone by in recent seasons without Manchester United being linked to the Argentine but Diego Simeone has always held a similar interest and was suitably impressed when Atlético faced Benfica in this year’s Champions League.
Gaitán becomes the first signing of the transfer window and despite the hefty price tag, the switch to Los Rojiblancos will be an opportunity to shine in Spain and in European competition.
Boca Juniors are due to receive 1 million euros as part of the deal.