Rodrigo Moreno has completed a move to Valencia, ending speculation linking him with a move to the Premier League, according to Spanish source Marca.
The Spaniard will initially move on loan to Valencia, who have to option to make the deal permanent if he impresses.
Rodrigo has spoken of his delight at returning to his homeland and intends to be successful during his time in La Liga: “I am very happy to be here and represent the club. I want to return Valencia to where it belongs,” he said.
“I come with the hope of returning Valencia to where it belongs. Football goes in cycles. 10 years ago there was a spectacular one with the League and Champions League final.
“Nuno is a highly respected Coach in Portugal. Last year he got good results with a small team. His teams are very organised, have a lot of possession of the ball and have great intensity in their game.”
A third party, known as the Meriton group purchased the rights to Rodrigo for €30million earlier this year. The group is owned by businessman Peter Lim, who recently purchased Valencia, which could make a permanent acquisition of the 23-year-old relatively easy.
Premier League sides Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham were believed to have taken an interest is acquiring the young Spaniard, and Rodrigo has confirmed that he did receive a few offers at the start of the year:
“I’ve had other offers since January but I intended to return to Spain with a great club like Valencia,” he confirmed.
The 23-year-old has been a revelation during his time in Portugal, scoring 33 goals in 66 matches.
Rodrigo caught the eye last season, particularly in the Europa League, as Benfica reached the final. He was named in the squad of the season. Domestically, Benfica were also successful, and the Spaniard played his part, scoring 11 league goals in 25 appearances.
Although he is yet to feature for Spain’s senior side, Rodrigo has been successful at international level. He was a part of the U21 side that romped to the UEFA European Championship title last year, and finished a runner-up the U-19 campaign in 2009.
He will be presented to Valencia fans today, before jetting off to South America to join the rest of the squad on their pre-season tour.
He will join up with former Benfica team-mate Andre Gomes has also made to move to Valencia, on a permanent basis.