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Benfica announced yesterday that their Algerian centre back Rafik Halliche has joined Fulham in a deal worth around £2m.

Halliche, who never actually kicked a ball for Benfica having spent two years on loan at fellow Liga ZON Sagres outfit Nacional, had spent the last couple of weeks in London training with the Whites. Mark Hughes took a long, hard look at the 23 year-old defender in training and completed what may be a crucial signing given the unfortunate injury suffered by Phillipe Senderos late in pre-season.

Halliche, who impressed during Algeria’s goalless draw with England at the World Cup, has signed a four-year deal and says he’s looking forward to making his mark in English football. The one-time Arsenal target becomes Mark Hughes’ second signing for Fulham after Moussa Dembele’s arrival last week from AZ Alkmaar.