Manchester United linked with big money move for Portuguese midfielder Joao Felix this summer…

Manchester United have been linked to Joao Felix in what could be a £100 million move for the prodigal midfielder. I know, right! The Glazers paying that sort of money for a 19-year-old is unlikely, right? It has been reported that United’s scouting network has watched Felix on a number of occasions this season, including the weekend before last, in which caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was reportedly given a glowing report of the teenager.

In January, Barcelona signed Frenkie De Jong in a £65.3 million deal which will see him move from Ajax to the Catalan club on the 1 July 2019. United supporters, at the time, were upset that Barcelona swooped on such a player, who had been linked to United, whether those reports were concrete or not. De Jong is the type of talented young player that United should have had a lot of interest in, even rivalled Barcelona for his signature, but they did not.

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Benfica would reportedly be willing to sell Felix in the summer and £100 million is their preferred price for the teenager. Benfica has had their players linked to United before though. Who will forget Nicolás Gaitán, who was linked to United for a number of summers, eventually leaving for Atletico Madrid in 2016, now playing for Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League. He was never a serious target for United, despite the rumours in the media. This could well be the same.

Benfica has also had some of their young players linked to United in order to gain attention from elsewhere. It had looked like Victor Lindelof was going to be similar to this as he was linked to United the years before they made the move to sign him for €35 million, last summer. An Old Trafford source, reported by The Sun, which may have been fabricated, reportedly said:

“The club went to see Felix in action and it was all positive. He is seen as a real talent. He is definitely someone who is increasingly of interest. He is a clever playmaker and in a similar vein to Portugal legend Deco. The scouts saw him during the derby against Sporting Lisbon and he scored. There looks like there is going to be moves for him.”

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, alongside some other unnamed big European clubs, have a reported interest in Felix. The 19-year-old is contracted at the Portuguese club until the summer of 2023 and there are suggestions that Benfica would like to tie him up to a new deal, inserting a massive release clause, which would make them a massive amount of money should any club decide to purchase him.

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To me, this seems to ring true about all the apparent interest in players over the years with Benfica just trying to tout talented players for as much as they could get for them, sometimes inserting big release clauses into contracts so the buying club had to spend big on a particular player. Felix has played 14 times for Benfica this season, once in the UEFA Champions League, scoring seven goal in total, all in the Portuguese Liga.

Felix may be a talented player but in terms of experience, this 19-year-old has very little, only playing in Portugal, not that it should be a criticism of him. I just cannot see the Glazers or Ed Woodward shelling out around £100 million on a prospect, even though he might fit in what that United is all about, focussing on youth, developing them and nurturing them into world stars, which is what United did with Cristiano Ronaldo when they signed him in 2003.

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