Manchester United will battle with noisy neighbours Manchester City in a bid to sign 20-year-old defensive midfielder Florentino Luis from Benfica, according to reports. The Old Trafford club has sent scouts to to watch the U20 Portugal youth international who currently plays for Benfica. With Nemanja Matic needing to be replaced, this is good news.
Obviously, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking to rejuvenate his United squad, hoping to but them back on the road to glory once again. However, this season that is a feat that will be hard to achieve. Rome
The 20-year-olds career started ay Real Sport Clube in 2009, moving to Benfica the following year, at the age of 11. Luis first appeared for Benfica II in 2016, making his first team debut earlier this year. The defensive midfielder played for Benfica 15 times from February after being promoted to the first team.
This season, it has been said that he will play a big part for the club in both the Primeira Liga and the UEFA Champions League. Of course, the Portuguese club has a release clause in the player’s contract which works out at €100 million, or £91 million. It might be that a club could work out a deal for the player but that might be tough if he plays well this season.
City has apparently been scouting Luis for a while with Pep Guardiola’s side seeking cover for summer signing Rodri. Fernandinho is 34 and it is about time the club found capable players to rebuild the squad which is the best team in the Premier League at this moment in time with Liverpool a close second. United, however, need a lot of rebuilding.
In the summer, it was reported that City made a £55 million offer for the 20-year-old, which was rejected. Luis has played five times so far this season, assisting one goal for his Portuguese club. United would need to step in quickly if they are interested in the player and meeting the release clause in January might just do that.
United has very little cover in the defensive midfield position. Solskjaer is clearly not impressed by Nemanja Matic, who has played 22 minutes of football this season. Scott McTominay might not be the defensive midfielder needed for the squad and so far, James Garner has not been tested in for the first team in competitive matches.
The 20-year-old is predominantly a defensive midfielder but has been praised for his well-rounded attributes of the game. The player excels in front of the defensive line and sits deep inside the central midfield, waiting to cut attacks with interceptions and tackles but has been known to press further up the pitch, winning possession back for the team.
Tackling is a strength of Florentino Luis and he consistently gets himself in the right positions to get the job done for his team, which at his young age os good to see and one of the reasons that he is rated so highly at Benfica. Luis is calm and composed in possession and has a good passion range, also
Obviously, playing at Benfica will see him given opportunities this season. If he was to move to City, he would likely be benched by Rodri, which is not ideal for the player, who will need to play in order to fully develop. Solskjaer is keen to promote youth and has turned United into one of the youngest teams in the Premier League this season.
With United not really having many defensive minded players at the club, Luis would just need to do enough to get him ahead of Matic, which would not take much at this moment in time with the Serbian slow on the ball and a bit of a liability in the team. That would ensure that the player would be given time to grow and keep developing.
United might not be interested in spending a lot of money on a player that has little experience. However, with Benfica giving him time in the Primeira Liga and the Champions League, come January or in the summer, he might have done something to suggest he’s worth the money wanted to allow him to leave the Portuguese club.