Man Utd joined by Wolves in race for £50m Benfica midfielder Joao Felix
MANCHESTER UNITED face an uphill battle to land wonderkid Joao Felix – with Wolves the surprise leaders in the chase for his signature.
The midfielder has been the subject of intense transfer speculation since breaking into Benfica’s first team this season at the tender age of 19, with United among those showing a keen interest.
But it’s the Black Country side that are now favourite to sign the teenager, thanks to their well-publicised link to his representative – Portuguese ‘super-agent’ Jorge Mendes.
Considered somewhat small and slight as a youth player, Joao Felix has had a huge impact in a shart space of time at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light.
He has scored 7 goals and made 3 assists in 16 first team appearances for Benfica this season, and will be tough to prise away from the Primeira Liga side.
He’s been compared to former club greats Rui Costa and Bernardo Silva by some Portuguese commentators.
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Benfica have him contracted until 2023 – but may not be able to turn down a huge offer for the player from one of the big European leagues.
United were reported to be interested in Felix as a potential replacement for Juan Mata, who seems unlikely to be offered a new contract at Old Trafford when his runs down.
Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have also been monitoring the teen’s progress, while Chelsea sent scouts to watch him play in the Lisbon derby last week.
But Wolves are now said to be in the driving seat in the chase to bring the young man to England, given Mendes’ close relationship with Nuno Espirito Santo and the big Portuguese contingent at the club.
One stumbling block would be whether the West Midlanders could match the ambitions of the player, who seems likely to have a range of options open to him should Benfica be happy to sell.
Despite his youth, Felix seems remarkably grounded.
He told reporters in 2017: “It is important to have your feet on the ground. I have a family that always reminds me of that. The higher we climb, the greater the fall.”