Espanyol breaks club record to sign Raul de Tomas

Raul de Tomas has returned to La Liga from Benfica and will attempt to drag Espanyol out of the relegation zone.

Raul De Tomas' fee smashes the club's previous transfer record of €10.5m, which it paid to sign Matias Vargas from Velez Sarsfield last July.   -  Getty Images

Espanyol has completed the signing of Raul de Tomas from Benfica for an initial fee of €20million.

The 25-year-old has signed a six-and-a-half-year deal to become the first arrival since head coach Abelardo took charge last month.

The deal also includes €2m in add-ons and Benfica will retain a 20 per cent sell-on clause for the forward.

The fee smashes the club's previous transfer record of €10.5m, which they paid to sign Matias Vargas from Velez Sarsfield last July.

De Tomas, who progressed through the Real Madrid youth system, enjoyed productive loan spells with Real Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano before joining Benfica on a five-year deal in July.

However, he managed only seven appearances in Portugal's top flight and did not score a single goal.

Espanyol was reportedly keen to sign him last year as a replacement for Borja Iglesias, who joined Real Betis in a €28m deal.

Sevilla was also said to be interested in bringing him back to Spain this month after allowing Munas Dabbur to sign for Hoffenheim.

De Tomas, who scored 14 goals in 33 appearances for Rayo in La Liga last season, will be tasked with finding the goals to help drag Espanyol out of the relegation zone.

Espanyol has scored just 14 goals in 19 league games this season, two of which came in the 2-2 draw with city rival Barcelona last Saturday.

Abelardo's side is bottom of La Liga on 11 points, four adrift of safety, having won just twice all season in the top flight.

  Dugout videos