Arsenal commence pursuit of reliable midfielder who could follow record breaker as Liverpool also make checks

Manuel Ugarte and Florentino Luis

Arsenal are starting to show an interest in a midfielder who is being predicted to be the subject of the next big sale by Benfica after Enzo Fernandez, according to a report.

During the January transfer window, Benfica sold Fernandez to Chelsea in a deal that broke the British transfer record. It was the latest bit of good business by the Portuguese side, who held firm to make a massive profit on the World Cup winner.

Several of their players have gone on to enjoy productive careers elsewhere in recent years. Of course, while a transfer fee similar to the one Fernandez went for is unlikely to be replicated any time soon, there could be some other players ready to progress away from Benfica.

Chief among them, according to a report by Goal, could be Florentino Luis. The 23-year-old is back among their first-team fold this season after a couple of loan spells away.

Despite being under contract until 2027, Florentino could take the next step in his career ahead of schedule, just like Fernandez did.

According to Goal, Arsenal and Liverpool have both made checks on the former Monaco loanee. News of Liverpool’s interest isn’t entirely new, since there were reports about them looking at Florentino back in October.

But Arsenal appear to be new contenders for his signature, as they too look to evolve their midfield.

The Gunners began to change their options in that department during the January transfer window, when they welcomed Jorginho into their squad from Arsenal. Meanwhile, they sent Albert Sambi Lokonga out on loan to Crystal Palace.

Other than Lokonga, who is yet to really convince at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal’s defensive midfielders will all be in their 30s by the time next season starts.

Therefore, they need to look to the future, which led them to consider players like Moises Caicedo in January. That pursuit was unsuccessful, but it may be one to revisit in the summer. By then, Arsenal could also step up their interest in Declan Rice.

But it seems Florentino is another option they want to pay some attention to.

Liverpool continue interest in Florentino Luis

Liverpool, meanwhile, failed to strengthen their midfield during January. In the summer, it will become a more pressing issue if James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all leave on free transfers.

They are keeping their options open, but again, Florentino looks like someone on their radar.

According to Goal, he has been Benfica’s most “consistent” and “reliable” midfielder this season. Indeed, he hasn’t missed a match for them yet.

Mainly a defensive midfielder, he could have the qualities that either Arsenal or Liverpool are looking for. What isn’t clear from the report is how much he might cost.

Liverpool already did business with Benfica in the summer, when they brought in Darwin Nunez to strengthen in attack. Maybe Florentino could be the next player they pursue from that destination.

Liverpool’s need might be greater than Arsenal’s at the moment, although there are arguments either way. Florentino will have to carefully judge what the best next step might be for his career – including staying at Benfica.

But if he keeps performing the way he is, there should be plenty of options on the table for him.

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