Boca Juniors striker Dario Benedetto to join French side Marseille, says agent

Deportes Tolima v Boca Juniors - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019

Boca Juniors striker Dario Benedetto has agreed a deal to join Olympique Marseille, according to his agent.

Speaking on Fox Sports Radio in Argentina, Christian Bragarnik claimed that both clubs have come to a “verbal” agreement for the player, thought to be in the region of €18 million.

He insisted, though, that “nothing has yet been signed”.

The Ligue 1 club’s original €12 million offer fell short of the player’s €21 million release clause.

He had also been linked with Fiorentina, but negotiations with Marseille have proven to still be successful.

Last week, Boca's sporting director said that Benedetto could leave ‘at the right price’.

Le perfect addition for a lethargic Les Phoceens

Benedetto will arrive to a club that will need him to hit the ground running early. The French media are already lambasting new Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas after a disappointing pre-season so far.

They were humiliated 4-0 by Rangers on Saturday at Ibrox, a few days after losing to Accrington Stanley.

Not the return he was seeking after an 18-month sabbatical from football to pursue motorsport interests.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-MARSEILLE

The club need to find more goals this season if they want to improve on last year’s disappointing season in Ligue 1 and the Europa League.

The six-month Mario Balotelli experiment did not pay off, and Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet are relied upon too heavily as the only source of goals.

With the addition of Benedetto, they have found a striker with the essentials: pace and technique.

His quickness allows him to drop deep and link play, while his shot power has caught many goalkeepers off-guard throughout his career in Argentina and Mexico.

Did Boca enjoy the best years of “Pipa”?

Nicknamed “Pipa”, Benedetto has enjoyed a great spell at Boca Juniors since arriving from Club América back in 2016.

Boca Juniors v Tigre - Copa de La Superliga 2019

At the time, he chose to follow his boyhood dream to play for Boca, despite European sides being interested in his services.

Last season, his superb semi-final goals took the club to their first Copa Libertadores finals in six years, where they eventually lost in controversial circumstances to rivals River Plate.

He was also the top-scorer in their most recent title winning season in 2016/17.

The timing of the transfer is not perfect, with Boca’s new season starting next week against Athletico-PR in the last 16 of this year’s Copa Libertadores.

But with such an alluring fee and with Benedetto at the age of 29, it seems logical for the deal to go ahead sooner rather than later.

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