Manchester United target “would prefer Spain to England” if he leaves Benfica

Joao Felix

Benfica teenager Joao Felix has admitted he would prefer a move to Spain over England in the future after being linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The 19-year-old has impressed for the Lisbon club this season, scoring 12 goals in 32 games across all competitions.

His form has inevitably resulted in speculation over a departure at the end of the season, with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund forming a queue.

However, the attacking midfielder has a release clause set at more than £100 million and a deal running to 2023, while the Red Devils’ hopes of landing him took a blow when he revealed his preferred future destination.

“I am not thinking about my future,” he told Marca.

“I only have thoughts for Benfica and helping my club to the league title, I can't think of what everyone is saying around us.

“My dream has always been to play for the biggest clubs in Europe. Spain or England? I would prefer to play in Spain.”

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Felix’s style has drawn comparisons with compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Portugal Under-21 international spoke of his admiration for the Juventus forward.

“Ronaldo has a phenomenal work rate, he is exemplary for everyone here,” he said.

“I'm not close to him on a personal level but I'm very excited about the potential of playing with him [for Portugal] and everyone knows his story, how he has had to battle all the way.

“Now you can see this season the impact he is having at Juventus and Real Madrid are suffering without him – they haven't found his replacement.”

Nudge wink...