Benfica have confirmed the signing of German midfielder Julian Weigl from Borussia Dortmund for €20m.
Dortmund had previously confirmed that a deal had been agreed with the Portuguese club, subject to a medical, with Weigl having asked for the move.
“Julian approached us with this wish and we agreed, also because of his service to the club,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said in a statement.
Benfica sign Weigl: Five things to know…
- Julian Weigl joined Borussia Dortmund in 2015, signing from 1860 Munich.
- The midfielder went on to play 171 times for the Schwarzgelben.
- Weigl has previously been linked with moves to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
- But the 24-year-old has joined Benfica on until 2024 with a release clause of €100m.
- This could open the door for Gedson Fernandes to leave Benfica, having been linked with Manchester United.
“We wish him all the best for the future.”
But now, Benfica have officially announced Weigl’s signing with the 24-year-old joining on a four-and-a-half-year deal with an eye-watering release clause of €100m.
It comes despite Weigl having previously been linked with a move to the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, with the latter seeing him reunite with former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel who initially brought him to the Westfalenstadion.
Speaking on his departure from Dortmund, Weigl expressed his love for the club, saying: “I would like to thank my teammates, BVB staff and all fans of this great club for a great time and will always have Borussia Dortmund at heart.”
Weigl’s arrival adds further doubt surrounding the future of current Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes, who has been subject to transfer rumours of late.
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The 20-year-old is one of Europe’s brightest young talents and has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent days. According to reports, representatives of the midfielder have spoken to four Premier League clubs as they try to push a move away in January.
Fernandes has not featured in Benfica’s past seven games after reports of a falling out with manager Bruno Lage.