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SERIE A

João Félix: Juventus to pip Real Madrid to Benfica sensation

El delantero portugués del Benfica, Joao Félix, durante un partido.

Gualter Fatia

Getty Images

The 19-year-old Benfica forward is one of the hottest properties in European football and the Serie A giants are set to make their move.

João Félix is rapidly becoming one of the hottest properties in European football and has been called up by Fernando Santos for Portugal’s most recent squad, leading Benfica to consider their bargaining position as concerns the 19-year-old.

Inevitably, the eyes of the big spenders have alighted on the attacking midfielder - who has scored 16 goals and provided nine assists in 37 appearances for Benfica this season – and the Portuguese club are more or less resigned to losing their young star this summer, but they will not be held to ransom.

Félix recently signed a contract extension at the Estádio da Luz with a minimum release clause of 120 million euros designed to dissuade potential suitors but Juventus, Real Madrid and both Manchester clubs are intent on snapping up the youngster at the earliest available opportunity. Benfica have placed another offer on the table, with a clause of 200 million euros, but Félix’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has put the stoppers on the deal and is reportedly going to open talks with Juventus on Tuesday.

Juventus dreaming of Ronaldo-Félix partnership

Mendes has arranged a meeting with Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici with Félix apparently keen on the idea of playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin. The Italian media notes that Juve hold a key advantage over their European rivals due to the influence of Mendes, who was instrumental in Ronaldo’s move from Real Madrid last summer and the transfer of João Cancelo from Valencia to the Allianz Stadium.

Portuguese reports have stated that Benfica rejected an initial offer of 75 million euros from Juve, who are apparently willing to sell Paulo Dybala to make room in the squad for Félix. The Argentinean has been overshadowed this season by the arrival of Ronaldo and often played out of position and is being linked with a move to Bayern Munich, who are expected to perform a serious overhaul of their ageing squad this summer.