MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly “in talks” with Benfica star Florentino Luis, nicknamed The Octopus.
But they face a fight with Leeds who are hoping to land the Portuguese hotshot as “luxury gift” for boss Marcelo Bielsa.
ESPN have claimed that the 20-year-old’s agent Bruno Carvalho Santos, met with United bigwigs in January and the Red Devils have been keeping tabs on the youngster ever since.
Lisbon-born Luis has been at Benfica since 2010 and has shot through the ranks of their academy.
He established himself as a regular starter in the second half of last season but was plagued with injury at the beginning of this campaign.
The defensive midfielder’s contract ties him down until 2024 and he is said to have a £52million release clause.
Benfica seem determined to fight interest in Luis and are attempting to convince the youngster to sign a new deal.
But they will struggle given that the starlet has emerged as one of the hottest young properties in Europe.
The Portuguese teen has even earned the nickname “O Polvo” – The Octopus, for the exceptional way he can cover ground and pick up loose balls in the middle.
His agent told ESPN: “Florentino is one of the highest rated young defensive midfielders in Europe, so there is a lot of interest in him at the moment.
“There has been a lot of talk about Milan, but I can tell you that there is a lot of competition for his services, with clubs in England, Germany and Spain also following him closely.”
Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Leeds have all been keeping close tabs on the Benfica ace, according to Tutto Mercato Web.
The Championship leaders view the starlet as a “luxury gift” for boss Bielsa should he gain promotion into the Premier League, ahead of his third campaign as boss at Elland Road.
The highly-rated defender has reportedly also emerged as a top target for Manchester City as they look for a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, 33.
Etihad scouts have been watching the U20 international for some time and have been impressed with what they have seen.
By: Isabelle Barker
Title: Man Utd ‘in talks’ over transfer for Benfica midfielder Luis, nicknamed The Octopus who has £52m release clause
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/11804419/utd-transfer-benfica-luis-52m/
Published Date: Sun, 07 Jun 2020 15:07:22 +0000