Leeds learn price for Portuguese midfield starlet after opening talks

Date published: Wednesday 29th July 2020 10:49 - Samuel Bannister

Florentino Luis

Leeds United have made contact with the agent of Benfica starlet Florentino Luis, but face competition from two clubs in Europe, according to reports.

Florentino is one of the most highly-rated prospects in Portugal, having been in Benfica’s first team since February 2019. The 20-year-old made 15 appearances in all competitions this season.

Ahead of their return to the Premier League, Leeds know they may need to invest in the transfer market. And Florentino is one of the players on their shortlist.

According to Calciomercato‘s Daniele Longo, Leeds have now firmed up their interest in the midfielder. The West Yorkshire side have contacted the player’s agent to signal their intents.

Benfica are willing to sell Florentino for up to €30m. However, they could make the deal easier for the buying party by letting him leave on a two-year loan with an obligation to buy.

Leeds are not alone in their interest, though. AC Milan were closely linked to the player in January, and could reignite their own interest. Florentino’s preference would be to move to the San Siro.

Real Betis are also in the hunt for Florentino, who is a Portugal Under-20 international. The midfielder was part of the Portugal squads that won the Under-17 European Championships in 2016 and the Under-19 Championships two years later. On both occasions, he was named in the team of the tournament.

Florentino is under contract at Benfica until 2024, with a €120m release clause. However, the Primeira Liga outfit are under pressure to raise funds, and could let him go.

Nicknamed ‘The Octopus’ for the way he covers ground in the midfield, Florentino has been at Benfica since joining their academy in 2010.

Florentino has reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United and Manchester City in the past. But according to Longo, it is now a three-horse race.

 

AGENT CONFIRMS INTEREST FROM ENGLAND

Florentino’s agent recently admitted that a number of clubs across Europe are monitoring the defensive midfielder.

Speaking to ESPN, Bruno Carvalho Santos said: “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 is another potential option for the 20-year-old, whose progress this season was stunted by injuries.

Benfica have inserted a €120m release clause into Florentino’s contract, but could sell him for much less than that.

 

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