PORTUGAL

Vinicius: Benfica ready to cash in on Liverpool target

Liverpool have been keeping a close eye on the Brazilian, who could leave for around €60m after signing from Napoli for Just €17m last summer.

Vinicius: Benfica ready to cash in on Liverpool target
MIGUEL RIOPA AFP

Benfica’s reputation for turning a profit is legendary and the Portuguese outfit appear ready to cash in on their latest success story, Carlos Vinícius, after acquiring the Brazilian from Napoli for just 17m last summer. Liverpool have been keeping track of the 24-year-old striker, who is the Primeira Liga top scorer this season with 14 at a rate of one every 68 minutes, and Benfica will surely be hopeful of a bidding war ensuing for the player this summer.

Vinícius continues Benfica's profitable tradition

Vinícius has a release clause of 100m in his contract but it is expected Benfica will start to listen to offers at around the 60m mark. The European champions are particularly keen observers of the Brazilian with rumours surrounding bids this summer for Roberto Firmino but there will be plenty of interest from the Premier League, Serie A and LaLiga in a player who has been transformed by the Benfica magic dust, which has previously been sprinkled on the likes of Ángel di María, Ederson, Joao Félix, Raul Jiménez, Renato Sanches, Rodrigo Moreno, Gonçalo Guedes, Alex Witsel and Andre Gomes, all of whom have contributed to the club’s impressive transfer income over the years, which since 2016-17 alone stands at 548.8m.

Napoli’s willingness to sell Vinícius wasn’t that surprising given he had hardly suggested he was destined to become so prolific during low key loan spells at Rio Ave and Monaco, but Benfica have a habit of bringing the best out of strikers. The Portuguese club even managed to squeeze a 500,000 profit out of Espanyol for Raúl de Tomás in January, despite the former Real Madrid striker failing to find the net in seven league appearances after his summer move from the Bernabéu.