Manchester United have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix, who is also a target for neighbours Manchester City.
According to a report from London Evening Standard, Premier League giants Manchester United are ready to act upon their interest in Benfica’s teenage sensation Joao Felix, amid interest from local rivals Manchester City.
The upcoming summer transfer window will be a critical one for Manchester United as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes a major revamp of the roster. The Norwegian is keen on bolstering his options across all areas of the pitch and has reportedly set his sights of five new signings, with Felix emerging as one of his primary targets, the report claims.
Felix, a 19-year-old attacking midfielder, switched to Benfica from rivals FC Porto back in 2015 and has made rapid strides during his time with the club. Enjoying his breakthrough season for the Portuguese giants, he has notched up eye-catching returns of 18 goals and 11 assists in 40 matches across all competitions.
Dubbed as the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’, Felix has been monitored by Manchester United for quite some time now, along with a number of other big clubs across Europe. Able to play anywhere in the final third of the pitch, the teenager would bring added creativity and goals to this Manchester United side, that Solskjaer is craving.
However, Manchester United will have to wage battle with neighbours Manchester City for the signing of the teenage wonderkid. The Cityzens view Felix as an ideal long-term replacement for chief playmaker David Silva who will be 34 next season, while the youngster’s ability to slot in as an auxiliary forward could provide them with options upfront as well.
Felix signed a new contract with Benfica in November last year, extending his stay with the Portuguese giants till the summer of 2023. Valued around the £100 million mark, the 19-year-old has shown immense potential and pedigree in his breakthrough campaign at the highest level, which has led to interest from Real Madrid as well.
The Portuguese attacker has the potential to be a quality addition to the Manchester United squad and certainly seems to possess the ability to help them step up a notch next season. However, his decision to join the Red Devils might hinge on whether they are able to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season.
Solskjaer’s side are currently stuck in the sixth place in the Premier League standings, three points off of fourth-placed Chelsea. With just two games left to be played in the season, Manchester United are facing an uphill battle to make it into Europe’s premier competition next season, which might have a bearing on their transfer plans.
Manchester United are ready to break their transfer record to sign Felix come summer, but interest from the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid, who will be able to offer Champions League football, might prove to be a hindrance. It remains to be seen if the Portuguese starlet ends up moving to England next season and if so, whether he ends up joining Solskjaer’s squad.