According to Portuguese daily A Bola, the Portuguese side are prepared to hand the teenager €2.5m per season to ward off interest from across Europe.
João Félix will be one of the most in-demand players in this summer’s transfer merry-go-round with the 19-year-old Benfica and Portugal attacking midfielder exploding on to the European stage this season and drawing interest from Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester City and Atlético, among others.
Benfica have set the asking price for their teenaged sensation at 120 million euros after handing him a new contract earlier this year and inserting a minimum release clause at that figure, but presumably anticipating a bidding war for a player who has scored 18 goals and provided 11 assists in his debut senior season and hit a memorable hat-trick in the Europa League to relieve Benfica legend Eusébio of a long-standing record.
Benfica hope mutli-million offer will sway Félix
However, Portuguese sports daily A Bola have reported Benfica now have another plan: to hold on to Félix for at least another season. In order to do so, the Eagles’ board are preparing to offer the teenager 2.5 million euros a year, a considerable salary in a league where players outside the Benfica-Sporting-Porto triumvirate rarely earn north of 500,000 euros a year. By comparison, the Portuguese top-flight’s highest paid player is former Real Madrid and Spain World Cup-winning keeper Iker Casillas, who earns around seven million euros a year at Porto.
Already capped at international level by Fernando Santos and anointed by Cristiano Ronaldo, Europe will be Félix’s oyster this summer. But Benfica hope they can persuade their precocious talent to continue his development in their starting XI rather than on a bench in Turin, Manchester or Madrid.