Benfica star Nicolas Gaitan is set to snub a move to long-time admirers Manchester United and move to Atletico Madrid after the midfielder announced his departure from Benfica following their cup win over Maritimo on Friday (20 May). The Argentinean has been a long-term target for the Red Devils and were linked with a move in the upcoming transfer window as well.
According to Portuguese publication Record, the 20-time English champions were planning a £35m ($50.7m) move for the midfielder in the summer, but are likely to be beaten to his signature by this year's Champions League finalists. Gaitan, who has been with the Portuguese giants since 2010, has finally confirmed that this season will be his last following their Taca da Liga win over Maritimo.
"Thank you to everyone. Everyone has treated me well. I think tonight was my last game for Benfica," the Argentina international said after playing a starring role during their 6-2 win in the Portuguese Cup final, as quoted by The Sun.
The 28-year-old has been impressive ever since his move from Boca Juniors six years ago and ended this season with 10 goals and 19 assists in 37 appearances in all competitions. According to A Bola, the midfielder, who signed a new contract with the Portuguese club just last December, will move to Atletico this summer, with the two clubs having agreed a deal in principle for Gaitan's transfer.
The Argentine, who has amassed eight trophies – three league titles, four league cups and one Portuguese Cup - in his time with Benfica, is reportedly set to sign a four-year deal with the Spanish capital club, while the two clubs have agreed a fee in the region of €25m (£19.3, $28m) which is considerably lower than the fee the Red Devils were reportedly winning to pay for his services.