Manchester United will reportedly have to see off rival interest from Leeds, as well as a number of European suitors, in the race to land a much-heralded Benfica midfielder.
Reports on Friday claimed United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had identified Florentino Luis as a priority signing this summer as he looks to bolster his engine room.
However, despite his agent already holding talks with United officials, Luis has also come under the watchful eye of Leeds, as well as a number of big-name European clubs, who have also kept tabs on his progress.
ESPN claims that United officials met the 20-year-old’s agent Bruno Carvalho Santos in January with his representative ‘fielding enquiries for the past few months’.
When asked about a potential move, Luis’ 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.”
The Portugal under-20 international has earned him the nickname “O Polvo”, which translates to “The Octopus”, for the way he covers the ground and he would certainly give the United midfield an injection of energy in the middle of the park.
But the player, a former Manchester City target, has only managed 12 appearances for Benfica this season in all competitions – with injuries hampering his progress – after enjoying a breakthrough campaign last term.
Despite having a €110m exit clause in his contract, ESPN claims Benfica ‘could be willing to let him go on loan with an option to make the move permanent’.
It’s claimed that despite Luis being contracted to the Portuguese giants until summer 2024, they do need to cash in on him as soon as possible due to the financial constraints at the club.
As well as Leeds, Man Utd and AC Milan, the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis have also been credited with an interest.
Leeds keen on Florentino Luis
Leeds’ prospects of signing him depend entirely on the club securing promotion to the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side hold a seven-point advantage over third-placed Fulham with the season due to resume on June 20.
Florentino was a key part of the Portugal team that won the European U17 Championship in 2016 and European U19 Championship in 2018.