Arsenal keeping a close watch on €80m Benfica playmaker with an eye for goal

Date published: Wednesday 20th May 2020 1:39 - Jo Harrison


Arsenal are being linked with a summer move for Benfica playmaker Rafa Silva, a former target for Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle.

The midfield star was part of Portugal’s squad which triumphed at Euro 2016 while he’s made 17 appearances for his country.

Silva scored a highly-impressive 17 times in just 26 league appearances for his club last season although he hasn’t had quite the same impact this time, netting just five goals in 15 outings before the season in Portugal was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Those past numbers are hard to ignore though and were the reason why other Premier League sides and big clubs around Europe were alerted to his talents.

According to Correio da Manhã (via Sports Mole) Silva ‘is flattered by Arsenal’s supposed interest’ and could be keen to try his luck elsewhere having not made the same impression with Benfica this season.

At first glance, there remains a very obvious stumbling block.

The report also claims that Silva has a release clause of €80m (£71.3m) in the five-year contract he signed when joining in a deal totalling €16.4 million from Braga in 2016.


With the Gunners looking to keep finances in check due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, there’s no way they would go anywhere near that mark but previous transfer figures offer more hope.

Last month, it was claimed that Benfica hoped to receive £25m for Silva, while Newcastle were confident of being able to snap up their target for a fee closer to the £15m mark.

Those figures are far more in Arsenal’s wheelhouse and Benfica could be willing to cash in on a player they perhaps feel isn’t as important to them as he was last term.

Sports Mole also suggest that Mikel Arteta could be lining up a move for Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby as the Arsenal boss looks to beef up his options going forward.

They could face a rival bid for the 20-year-old from Borussia Dortmund.

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