Benfica President Says Joao Felix Could Leave Amid Manchester United Rumours

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2019

Benfica's Joao Felix reacts in dejection at the end of the Europa League quarterfinals, second leg soccer match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Benfica at the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, April 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Michael Probst/Associated Press

Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira has conceded Joao Felix could leave the club, with Manchester United eyeing the prodigy.

According to Metro, United are reportedly keen to bring the 19-year-old to Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rebuilds the Red Devils. Manchester City, Real Madrid and Juventus are also reportedly monitoring the teenage sensation.

Vieira admitted the player has a £106 million release clause in his contract, and if a club matches the total, there is a chance he will depart Lisbon.

"We sit down with players and they say, 'President, I can earn €5 million (£4.5 million), president, do not make me stay here'. Joao Felix had a release clause of €60 million (£53 million) and we realised after two or three games that we must increase it to €120 million (£106 million). But it is Joao Felix and his family who will decide if he stays. If someone bids €120 million (£106 million) it is not worth dreaming that he will stay."

PORTO, PORTUGAL - JUNE 5: Joao Felix of Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal  during the  UEFA Nations league match between Portugal  v Switzerland  at the Estadio Dragao on June 5, 2019 in Porto Portugal (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Felix has quickly become one of the most desired forwards in Europe and experienced a breakout campaign for the Eagles last season. The attacker scored 18 goals and provided eight assists in the Portuguese league and Europe, and he also recently made his debut for Portugal.

Vieira added he might be open to the idea of selling Felix in the summer if the youngster is loaned back to Benfica next term.

However, the player appears content in his environment as he takes huge steps forward in his career.

Speaking to Benfica's official website, Felix declared he is willing to stay with his club at present (h/t Metro).

"I think that time will tell," said Felix. "I'm good here, I'm very happy, I love the club, I adore these fans who adore me. I want to enjoy the moment, play football, have fun doing what I like, and then, over time, things happen naturally. I am very happy in Benfica."

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Solskjaer must bring fresh talent to United, and his recruitment needs to be impactful and accurate.

The Manchester giants were excellent under the Norwegian during his spell as interim boss, but Solskjaer quickly discovered the depth of problems in his squad as they dramatically crashed at the end of the campaign.

United have confirmed the capture of Daniel James from Swansea City, and the potential arrival of Felix would provide Solskjaer with an exciting and youthful attacking lineup next season.

The aim will be to challenge for silverware, but the first hurdle will be to establish United back in the top four of the Premier League.