João Félix, a reported target for both Manchester clubs, will not be allowed to leave Benfica unless his release clause is met.
Benfica will not sell teenage forward João Felix unless his full €120million release clause is met, according to club chief Domingos Soares de Oliveira.
Benfica play hard ball to keep teenage sensation
João Felix scored 15 Primeira Liga goals in a breakout season, reportedly attracting the attention of several top European clubs - including Premier League sides Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United. But the 19-year-old has a significant release clause in his contract and Benfica do not plan to let the player move for anything less.
Indeed, Soares de Oliveira insists Benfica are in no rush to part with the Portugal youth international, not even for €100m. "Selling for the release clause is what we are trying to do," Benfica's chief executive officer told TVI24. "If João Félix is to leave for another club, we are looking for them to meet the clause. But hopefully that will not happen. The aim is to keep the squad together. If someone bids €100m for João Félix, the intention is not to sell. €100m is a lot of money - there has never been a player sold for that amount in Portugal - but the aim is to win on the pitch. We will do everything to move in that direction. If they do not bid €120m, the player stays."
19y 152d - Against Eintracht Frankfurt, @SLBenfica's João Félix became the youngest Portuguese player to score a hat-trick in a major European match (19 years 152 days), breaking the record held by Eusébio (vs IFK Norrköping) since November 1962 (20y 301d). Exciting. pic.twitter.com/bE3IDkX2eU— OptaJoao (@OptaJoao) April 12, 2019
No offers, only rumours
Soares de Oliveira added that there is still the possibility Benfica will look to alter the release clause, though Félix's interests must be considered in any negotiations. "I believe the president still has the intention to review it," he said. "But on the other side, there is the player, the agent, the family. What we have to consider is the potential of the player, as long as we can convince the other club. No offer has come. There are talks and rumours - the biggest European clubs have been linked - but no proposal has come to us."
And Soares de Oliveira adds that Benfica do not necessarily now need to sell their top players, as was the case in previous years. "The financial situation is more robust than in the past, but still the sale remains part of the business," he said. "[Outgoing players] do not need to be the starters."