Report: Raul Jimenez to West Ham is off, after Benfica buy 50% of his rights

The Mexican international striker is set to play in Portugal next season.

Friday saw West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic confirm that the club were close to bringing in Raul Jimenez from Atletico Madrid on loan.

The Mexican has been granted a work permit for a move to England however, reports are now claiming that West Ham have been bested in the race for his signature by Benfica.

In what would be an interesting turn of events, the Portuguese club have reportedly beaten West Ham to the signing of the 24-year-old.

AS were reporting last night that Benfica have purchased 50% of the economic rights of the Mexican from Los Colchoneros and that means that he will be playing in Portugal next season, and not London.

Super-agent Jorge Mendes previously owned 50% of his rights, but sold them to Benfica yesterday and Jimenez has decided to join the club after West Ham were sent tumbling out of the Europa League by Romanian minnows Astra Giurgiu.

The news will come as a hammer blow to Slaven Bilic’s plans for the upcoming campaign. The club need a new striker after injury problems for Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll.

It looks like Jimenez will not be that man.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch