In order to sign Benfica’s Joao Felix, Manchester United and Liverpool will have to pay a whopping £105m, more than the £99m Juventus paid for Cristiano Ronaldo last summer. This according to the Portuguese club. Felix came through the youth ranks at Porto before joining Benfica in 2015 and has developed in to one of the most exciting young talents in Portuguese football since establishing himself as a key part of Bruno Lage’s side.
The 19-year-old has provided 7 goals and 2 assists in his 20 appearances in all competitions so far this season and he’s being tipped for a call-up to the senior Portuguese squad having already represented his country at U21 level. His potential has alerted a host of top European clubs with The Sun claiming that Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have expressed their interest while Liverpool have reportedly already seen a £60m offer rejected.
The newspaper says scouts from the likes of United and Liverpool have been keeping a close eye on Felix’s progress but it looks like they’ll need to be prepared to dig deep if they want to land the talented attacker. The Sun cite a report from Portuguese outlet Record that claims Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira has told interested clubs they have no intention of selling Felix for anything less than his £105m release clause.
Felix was rewarded for his fine start to the season with a new long-term contract in November that ties him to Estadio de Luiz until 2023 so Benfica are under no pressure to cash-in unless a club meets his release fee. It remains to be seen whether Man Utd or Liverpool will agree to pay over £100m for Felix but while he’s considered to be one of the hottest talents in Europe, it would be a huge gamble to pay that kind of money for a teenager that’s yet to play outside of Portugal.
Meanwhile, Former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood believes that Liverpool made a mistake in letting Nathaniel Clyne leave the club on loan to Premier League rivals Bournemouth. The Reds have been struggling with injuries in defence in recent weeks, with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s latest set-back leaving them particularly short at right-back. And Sherwood believes manager Jurgen Klopp made an error in not keeping Clyne in the squad, with Liverpool unable to recall him from Bournemouth.
“They’ve picked up some injuries. [Losing] Joe Gomez [to injury] is a big blow for them. I thought he was outstanding and it looks like there’s been a mistake with his injury, they seem to have left it a month or so and they’ve said he’s got to have an operation. That is poor,” he told Sky Sports. “To let Clyne go to Bournemouth is amazing for me. Why would you get rid of someone [you may need]. Trent Alexander-Arnold is injured as well so in the right-back area you really are struggling.
“You’ve got Milner who is going to play in there and do his best, is an outstanding professional and is capable – but to let Nathaniel Clyne go to Bournemouth is incredible to me. I think it is a massive error of judgement by Liverpool.”