SIMAO SEALS BENFICA SWITCH
By Peter O`Rourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 21-year-old midfielder has signed a five-year deal at The Estadio das Luz, but Barca have insisted on an option being inserted in his contract which allows the Catalan giants to have first refusal to buy the player back when his contract with Benfica expires.
Simao has been keen on a move away from Camp Nou after failing to hold down a regular place in The Barca side and he wants regular first team action to boost his hopes of making the Portugal side for next year's World Cup finals should they qualify.
The former Sporting Lisbon star joins Zlatko Zahovic, Ljublinko Drulovic, Tomislav Sokota, Hugo Porfirio, Julio Cesar and Anders Andersson as the new arrivals at The Estadio das Luz.
The deal stalled earlier this month when Barca insisted on taking highly-rated striker Pedro Mantorras in part exchange for Simao, but Benfica are keen on holding onto the highly-rated striker.
The Portuguese side are happy to have kept the Angolan forward out of the deal to sign Simao
"We find Pedro Mantorras a very valuable Benfica player and as such, we have decided not to include him in negotiations with Barcelona," said Benfica spokesman Joao Malheiro.