Benfica Make Transfer Stance Clear As Liverpool Join PL Rivals In ‘Paying Close Attention’ To £103M Midfielder

Benfica president Rui Costa “intends to hold on to” Liverpool transfer target Joao Neves for “at least another year” according to O Jogo.

The Portuguese newspaper claims that the Reds have joined the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain in “paying close attention” to the 20-year-old’s performances this season.

However, Benfica are not willing to let Neves leave at this stage of his career, despite there being a whole host of clubs willing to put sizeable bids on the table to secure his signature.

The midfielder does have a €120m (£103m) release clause in his contract and, considering Benfica’s stance, this is the price that Liverpool and others would currently have to match to sign him this summer.

Neves could cost even more if he signs a new deal

With Benfica seemingly determined to retain the services of the Portuguese international, O Jogo claim that his buyout fee could increase in the near future.

Neves’s club want to raise the clause to €150m (£128.5m), which would put him out of reach of Liverpool and other teams.

Contract negotiations have not progressed which could give Liverpool the opportunity to step in

Despite Benfica deciding to offer a better salary back in December, talks with Neves’s representatives have apparently stalled.

Benfica are believed to be prepared to raise the player’s salary to €1m a year (£16,000 a week) but the proposal has not been accepted.

It means Neves remains one of the lowest-paid members of Benfica’s first-team squad. With that being the case, his head could be turned by other clubs, including Liverpool.

Of course, the midfielder’s current release clause is still very high and, with Benfica reluctant to sell, a transfer to Anfield this summer still looks unlikely. It is, though, a transfer that fans should keep a close eye on.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.