Every word of Benfica statement on future of Man Utd, Man City transfer target Joao Felix | Football | Sport
Felix, 19, had an incredible season for Benfica, scoring 15 goals in 26 Primeira Liga games as his side won the title.
He made history in the Europa League when, with three goals against Eintracht Frankfurt, he became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the competition.
The winger caught the eyes of teams around the world for his performances, and has been linked with a host of clubs this summer.
Both Manchester sides are reported to be interested in him, though Felix reportedly has a release clause of £107.3million.
However, on Monday it was reported that both United and City had been beaten to the punch for Felix, with Atletico Madrid claimed to have met his release clause.
Madrid are set to lose Antoine Griezmann this summer for a fee of £103m, so it was thought that despite having yet to sell the striker they could use that money to finance a move for Felix.
But in the immediate aftermath of those reports breaking in Spain, the Portuguese champions issued a defiant statement claiming there was no agreement.
The statement attacked reports that Felix was close to a move, saying that they were clearly trying to damage the club’s reputation.
“In view of the set of news published in these last hours, Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD clarifies that it is false that any negotiation process is currently under way regarding a possible transfer of player Joao Felix,” the statement read.
“More serious, and that deserves our most vehement repudiation and denial, is the false news that refers to negotiations that involve commissions of 30% and which, unfortunately, was echoed in Portugal by the newspaper A Bola, with intentions and goals that we do not know at all.
“We repeat: this information is totally false, absurd and has clearly intentional intentions for the reputation and dignity of Sport Lisboa e Benfica.”
This news will be a major bonus for the two Manchester clubs, neither of whom have made any big forays into the transfer market so far this summer.
United spent £17m on Swansea winger Daniel James, but have been linked with a host of other names, while City are expected to pay £62m for Atletico defensive midfielder Rodri.
Rodri has been touted as a potential long-term replacement for Fernandinho, who at 34 may require more rest in seasons to come having been a key player for Pep Guardiola.
Both United and City have also been linked with Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, who has had a price tag of £80m placed upon him in a bid to deter any offers.