Bernardo Silva Talks Up Joao Felix Amid Manchester City Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2019

Benfica's Joao Felix celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal from the penalty spot during the Europa League quarterfinals, first leg, soccer match between Benfica and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
Armando Franca/Associated Press

Joao Felix has at least one believer in his talents at Manchester City, in the form of playmaker Bernardo Silva. The City midfielder talked up his fellow Portugal international who has been linked with a move to the Premier League champions this summer.

Silva outlined the potential of Benfica's brightest young star during an interview with RTP (h/t Dan O'Toole of the Manchester Evening News): "Felix is a kid who is 19 years old. He's very young, he has a giant margin for progression, and he has shown that if he works, and if he makes the right choices in his career, he can make a brilliant career. So he could play for the best clubs in the world and can be part of a group that few players can reach."

Rumours have been growing City will try to sign precocious forward Felix. A meeting between City chief executive Ferran Soriano, Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira and agent Jorge Mendes to discuss a deal took place recently, per Duncan Castles of The Transfer Window Podcast (h/t Ollie Salt of the Daily Star Sunday).

Castles described how this group convened in London, with City keen on Felix as a possible replacement for Leroy Sane. The latter has been heavily linked to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, with the Guardian's Fabrizio Romano revealing City have rejected an offer worth £70.7 million for the prolific 23-year-old.

B/R Football @brfootball

Bayern Munich have reportedly made an €80 million bid for Leroy Sane, per @FabrizioRomano https://t.co/YU5EidB4Zr

Moving on from Sane would be something of a risk for City since the Germany international is a mercurial talent. At his best, Sane's acceleration, close control and eye for goal are weapons good enough to unlock any defence.

His pace in combination with the movement of fellow wide forward Raheem Sterling ensures City boast quality on the flanks few of Europe's top teams can match.

Felix would represent something a little different. Technique is a bigger part of his game thanks to the vision and flair to release runners behind defenders.

While his range of through passes is impressive, Felix's physical strength, deceptive for a player of his age and frame, along with running power and coolness in front of goal, also make him a lethal scoring threat:

SPORF @Sporf

📅 Joao Felix this season: ⚽ 20 Goals 🎯 11 Assists 🏆 Portuguese title winner with @SLBenfica 👶 Youngest player to score a hattrick in the @EuropaLeague since 2007 📝 Wanted by Europe's top clubs 🇵🇹 Receives his first @SelecaoPortugal call-up 👏 Wonderkid. https://t.co/qw6adM6Meh

Unfortunately for City, Felix's breakout performances for Benfica this season have drawn interest from more than one big club. City's neighbours Manchester United are reportedly prepared to pay as much as £105 million, per Correio da Manha (h/t MailOnline's Dan Ripley).

It's the same amount as the teenager's release clause, a figure steep enough to ensure any bidding war for Felix will only involve a select few of the continent's big spenders. City's apparent determination to do a deal likely makes the future of Felix this summer's biggest transfer saga.