Juventus open talks with Benfica in bid to beat Premier League giants for Portuguese hotshot

Joao Felix

The 19-year-old is wanted by several of Europe’s leading clubs, with the Daily Express (opens in new tab) suggesting that Manchester United and Manchester City are keen on the youngster who last week became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Europa League.

However, AS (opens in new tab) has reported that the Italian champions’ sporting director Fabio Paratici will sit down with Felix’s agent Jorge Mendes on Tuesday.

Felix is said to be taken by the idea of playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin, while Mendes was instrumental in arranging Ronaldo’s move from Real Madrid to Juve last summer, as well as the Bianconeri’s signing of Joao Cancelo from Valencia.

An initial offer from the Old Lady of €75 million (£64m) is understood to have been knocked back, but Juventus are willing to let Paulo Dybala leave to free up a space in their squad for Felix.

The attacking midfielder, who has scored 16 goals in 37 games for Benfica this season, recently signed a new contract in Lisbon with a release clause of €120 million (£104m).

The Portuguese club are said to have offered him a new deal including an increased €200 million (£173m) release clause, but Mendes has turned down the suggestion with Juve, both Manchester clubs and Real Madrid showing interest.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.