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Benfica seal $10M swoop for Argentine Aimar

  • Story Highlights
  • Argentine Pablo Aimar joins Portuguese club Benfica on a four-year contract
  • The 28-year-old leaves relegated Spanish club Real Zaragoza in $10.3m deal
  • He will be reunited at Benfica with his former Valencia coach Quique Flores
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(CNN) -- Argentina international Pablo Aimar has signed a four-year contract with Portuguese club Benfica, ending speculation that he might join English side Newcastle United.

Aimar, left, in action for Real Zaragoza against Spanish champions Real Madrid last season.

Aimar, left, in action for Real Zaragoza against Spanish champions Real Madrid last season.

The 28-year-old playmaker will be reunited with his former Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores after departing relegated Spanish club Real Zaragoza.

The Lisbon-based club have paid $10.3 million for Aimar, according to The Associated Press.

"I'm delighted because Benfica went out of their way to get me," Aimar said. "I know the coach and he knows me. I want to play regularly and win things here as Benfica are one of the biggest clubs in the world."

Aimar, who has played at two World Cup finals tournaments with Argentina, previously worked under Flores at Valencia from 2001 to 2006.

Flores took over at Benfica in May after the club failed to qualify for the Champions League, finishing fourth in the table under the guidance of caretaker coach Fernando Chalana.

British media had reported that Newcastle were hoping to seal a $12 million deal for Aimar ahead of the new Premier League season.

Aimar made his name with River Plate in his homeland before joining Valencia, who helped to win two Spanish league titles and the UEFA Cup in 2004. However, Flores sold him to Zaragoza for $19 million after the 2005-06 season.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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