Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Benfica and FC Porto to battle for winger Pepe

Benfica and FC Porto look set to lock horns once again but this time the clubs will be doing it off the field as both battle to acquire Eduardo Gabriel Aquino Cossa better known as Pepe from Gremio. The 23 year old winger has the interest of both clubs according to reports from Brazil but do to the current COVID-19 pandemic going across the club his agents upcoming trip to Europe to talk with potential suitors has been cancelled. Pepe has a contract with Gremio until the end of 2022 and joined the Brazilian side in April 2016 appearing in 64 games and scoring 12 goals. Gremio currently owns 70% of the players rights and is said to be asking for €20M.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Benfica have back up in mind if Vlachodimos moves on

Benfica Blog
Benfica are set if they are to move on from current number one keeper Vlachodimos as the Greek International has been linked with a summer move to Italian clubs Inter Milan or Napoli. Reports out of Turkey have Benfica linked to current Trabzonspor starter Ugurcan Cakir to take over the number one role as the Turkish International garners interest from some of Europe's bigger clubs with Arsenal, Leicester City and Tottenham all linked to the 23 year old. Cakir has appeared in 33 games across all competitions for the Turkish league leaders allowing 39 goals while maintaining 4 clean sheets. The Turkish clubs President Ahmet Agaoglu has gone on to say that he feels Cakir is one of the top three keepers in Europe and future starter for the Turkish National side as he looks to drive up the price from what is a reported €20M. Benfica came close to landing Juventus keeper Perin over this past summer for €12M along with a Seixal academy prospect but a failed physical by the Italian put an end to that move. Benfica could try the same type of approach for Cakir to lower Trabzonspor's asking price and land Vlachodimos replacement for next season.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Newell want Lema loan move to become permanent offer players

Benfica Blog
Benfica and Argentinian club Newell Old Boys are working on an agreement to make Cristian Lema's loan move permanent and with Newell struggling to come with the €3M that Benfica are looking for, Newell are offering Benfica a deal that would involve players in return. Newell are said to be offering Benfica a choice of 19 year old forward Tobias Donsati, 20 year old midfielder Anibal Moreno and 22 year old midfielder Jeronimo Cacciabue to clinch the permanent move. Lema joined Benfica from Belgrano in the summer of 2018 on a free transfer but only appeared in two games for the Eagles before loan spells at Penarol and this past season with Newell. Lema has appeared in 22 games for Newell and has scored 4 goals of the three players being offered Cacciabue is said to be the most ready to join the main club while Moreno is the player with the most promise. Benfica and Newell will continue to work on coming to an agreement until June 30 when Lema's loan move will end and he will return to Benfica.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Benfica linked to Tigres attacking midfielder

Benfica Blog
Benfica have been linked to another summer improvement according to reports out of Portugal and this time it is Tigres attacking midfielder Leonardo Fernandez who is currently on loan with another Mexican side Toluca. The 21 year old Uruguayan joined Tigres in the summer of 2019 from CA Fenix but has yet to make an appearance with Tigres. Fernandez has appeared in 11 games for Toluca across all competitions, scoring eight times while setting up three goals. The under 23 international is the owner of a left foot that has been making waves in Mexico and plays a coveted position by Benfica which is the #8 role. Tigres is looking for €15M to part with Fernandez's services, a sum that Benfica are close to acquiring from West Brom for the sale of  Filip Krovinovic. Jorge Mendes is said to be leading the negotiations on Benfica's behalf and was set to meet with Fernandez's agent Jorge Chijane but that meeting had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Benfica's should look within league for central defender

Benfica Blog
Benfica could find what they are looking for right in their own backyard when it comes to strengthening the center back spot for the club this off season. Benfica will more then likely see Ruben Dias depart and with reports coming from both Portugal and Spain, the club could also see the departure of Ferro and captain Jardel when all is said and done. Benfica have promising youngster Morato to look forward to in the future but at the tender age of 18, the young Brazilian defender is still too green to take over a regular role with the main squad. Benfica have also been linked to 23 year old Freiburg defender Robin Koch who could come with a €20M price tag and be more then an adequate starter with the club but the squad would still be short at least two defenders that they could rely on to play regular minutes.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Manchester United have Benfica's Pizzi on short list

Benfica Blog
Benfica midfielder Pizzi has had his name mentioned on the short list of Manchester United as a potential summer target if United are to miss out on their main target Jadon Sancho. The 30 year old Pizzi has been one of the best players in the Portuguese League the past few seasons and currently sits second behind teammate Vinicius for the leagues golden boot this year. Pizzi who joined Benfica in the summer of 2013 become a main stay with the club during the 2014/15 season after a season loan at Espanyol and has appeared in 270 games with the club across all competitions, scoring 72 goals and adding 80 assists. A move to United would see Pizzi join fellow Portuguese players Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot at the club and give United two of the best players in the Portuguese League over the past few seasons within a 6 month span after landing Fernandes in January. Pizzi is signed with Benfica until the summer of 2023 and has a current buy out clause of €60M. Benfica should not expect United to get close to that buy out due to Pizzi's age but the club would more then likely be open to moving their best player for half that price if you United were to get that high.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Benfica and FC Porto both interested in Granada keeper

Benfica Blog
Benfica and FC Porto are both interested in landing Granada's Portuguese keeper Rui Silva for next season according to reports coming from Portugal. The 26 year old has been one of the better keepers in La Liga this season and currently sits third in total shot stops while maintaining ten clean sheets for the mid table club. Silva's low buy out clause of €15M will make it difficult for the Spanish side to retain his services beyond this season. Silva arrived at Granada during the winter transfer window of 2017 for a modest €1.5M from Madeira club Nacional and became the starter last season helping the club earn promotion to La Liga  while being voted the best keeper in the second division. Benfica have been looking for a keeper to push current number one Vlachodimos since last summer and Silva's form and low cost has moved him onto the clubs summer acquisition list. Benfica though will not only have Portuguese rivals FC Porto to battle for Silva's signature but Spanish side Real Betis and a couple of English Premier clubs have also been linked to acquiring the Portuguese keeper. Silva's final decision could be swayed in Benfica's favour if they were to land a spot in next seasons Champions League but that will remain unknown until the league restarts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday, March 20, 2020

West Brom ready to make bid for Benfica's Krovinovic

West Brom are ready to discuss a permanent move with Benfica for attacking midfielder Filip Krovinovic who has spent this season as a key member of West Brom's run into the top two of England's second division and likely promotion to the Premiership next season once things get back to normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Krovinovic joined Benfica in the summer of 2017 from Rio Ave for €3.5M and appeared in 28 games with Benfica across all competitions before being loaned out this summer to West Brom. Krovinovic looks to have found a squad that he can play regularly and has appeared in 34 games this season for the Baggies across all competitions scoring twice and providing four helpers. The loan move between both clubs did not include an option to buy as part of the agreement but Benfica could be looking for €15M-€20M from West Brom to make the move permanent and with West Brom set to gain around €100M from television rights with a promotion an agreement should not be hard to come by for the the 24 year old Croatian.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Benfica should consider Joao Cancelo loan move

Benfica Blog
Benfica should already be looking on how to bolster their squad for next season and one position that the club needs to strengthen is the right back spot. Benfica will continue to sell assets and one particular European club that has been a regular in the stands scouting the club is Manchester City, the English club has been suspended from European play for the next two years by UEFA and should have an abundance of players available to other clubs, one of these such players could be Portuguese right back Joao Cancelo.
Benfica Blog 
Benfica who currently have an often injured Andre Almeida and not yet ready youngster Tomas Tavares in the right back spot would receive an immediate upgrade with a loan acquisition of its former Seixal academy player. Benfica should ask to include Cancelo on any deal the two clubs would make for a Man City linked player like Ruben Dias and the club could make sure that City pay a substantial amount of Cancelo's £4.16M annual salary to fit within the clubs budget.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Benfica deciding to bring back Diogo Goncalves

Benfica Blog
Benfica are currently working on making a decision if they will bring back winger Diogo Goncalves to the fold after his loan spell ends at Famalicao in the summer. Goncalves who last appeared in action with Benfica on February 17, 2018 during a league game against Boavista is a graduate from Benfica's famous Seixal academy. The 23 year old had struggled to find playing time the last few years with the Eagles and during a loan spell last season at Nottingham Forest but looks to have matured this season with Famalicao. Goncalves has appeared in 25 games across all competitions, scoring four goals while adding eight helpers and is a regular in the clubs starting eleven. Benfica and Famalicao earlier this season had discussed Goncalves remaining permanently with the northern Portuguese side with Benfica retaining 50% of the players rights going forward but Benfica look to have had a change of heart in 2020 amid its current struggles. Goncalves has been a regular member of Portugal's youth squads and can play both right and left wing for the club.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Benfica close official stores and restaurant

Benfica Blog
Benfica have announced the closing of its Official stores and their restaurant at the Estadio da Luz indefinitely due to COVID-19 also known as the corona virus as a way of preventing the spread of the virus. The closures are effective as of today as the club deals with the spread of the virus through Portugal and the world. Benfica have not been in action since a draw last Saturday against Setubal and the club along with the rest of the world awaits to get back to normal everyday life. Benfica have provided their players with a diet and training regiment while the club is in hiatus and have asked players to remain isolated at home and to leave in only causes of emergency. The club will continue to monitor players through an electronic bracelet as they do during the season. Benfica are also going through the process of refunding purchasers of tickets to this weekends Tondela game and will move on others on a game to game basis.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Benfica season put on hold due to COVID-19

Benfica Blog
Benfica's run for the Portuguese League title has been put on hold as the Portuguese League has suspended play due to COVID-19. The league has decided that Week 25's games which earlier in the week were set to be played behind closed doors would be better off to not take place at all with pressure coming from the players syndicate to cancel these games. The League decided that it would be in the best interest of the fans and players to suspend plan indefinitely to avoid the spread of the virus from large crowd gatherings. Portugal currently have 78 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and have not suffered any deaths at this time with one of the infected having completed a full recovery.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Benfica make first signing of the summer from Brazil

Benfica Blog
Benfica have acquired their first player for next season landing Corinthians midfielder Pedrinho for a reported €20M and signing the 21 year old for five seasons while adding a €120M buy out clause to the players contract. Benfica have been linked with Pedrinho since the winter transfer market but have now only made the move official announcing the players signing earlier today.
Pedrinho has been a member of Brazilian side Corinthians since the age of 14 and joined the main squad in early 2017, he has appeared in 92 games across all competitions scoring eight goals while adding another eight assists. Pedrinho will return to Sao Paulo and compete with Corinthians in the Brazilian Serie A until the transfer window re-opens in Portugal during the summer months.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Benfica hit record €104.2M profit in first six months

Benfica Blog
Benfica have released record profits for the first half of the 2019/20 financial year, the current Portuguese league champions earned €104.2M in the first six months of the fiscal year. The figures represent a 639.8% increase from the same period last year with Joao Felix's record smashing summer transfer a big part of the profits. This is the sixth consecutive year that Benfica have recorded a profit in the first six months of the fiscal year with the club bringing in a revenue of €244.3M from July 1/19 to December 31/19, in that same period the clubs operating income also increased by 8.8% from the same time last year to €101.9M. Benfica's current net debt now stands at €45.8M which the club has decreased by a whopping €189.5M since the summer of 2016. These latest figures should see the club once again exceed the €300M mark in revenue for the second consecutive year when the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2020.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Benfica interested in Famalicao young midfielder

Benfica Blog
Benfica are being linked with Famalicao midfielder Gustavo Assuncao as one of their first summer transfer acquisitions. The 19 year old defensive midfielder joined Famalicao from Atletico Madrid's under 19 squad on a free transfer in July of 2019 and has appeared in 29 games across all competitions chipping in one assist. Benfica who acquired Julian Weigl during the past transfer window, would be adding to a place of strength with Seixal academy product Florentino Luis and Greek international Samaris all able to play in the defensive midfield role. Benfica may be better suited to look at landing a central defender or right back which are two positions that the club needs to reinforce. The move for Assuncao may just be a future move for Benfica who could loan Assuncao out right away to gain experience while owning the players rights for any potential sale or to join the club as a replacement once other players are sold.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Will the real Benfica please stand up

Benfica Blog
Benfica went down to Setubal for Week 24 action and when the final whistle blew, the club left with another 1-1 draw and more questions then answers as they dropped points once again in league play. Benfica who have just one victory across all competitions in their last eight games, look like a club that is out of ideas while manager Bruno Lage who just over a year ago was the clubs savior and to some the greatest manager ever seems to have lost his creativity to get this club going as he searches for answers with the season on the line. Benfica for the second week in a row escaped with a draw thanks to Pizzi penalty conversation but the midfielder would later go on to miss another from the spot, his second miss in as many weeks costing the club a chance at all three points. Striker Carlos Vinicius has also been bitten with the bug scoring just one goal in his last seven competitive games. Benfica luckily stayed within a point of league leaders FC Porto who failed to capitalize and move up by three points drawing themselves at home against Rio Ave. What has happened to the club who coming into February was on a 16 game unbeaten run across all competitions and held a seven point lead atop Portugal? Joao Felix has been gone all season but the club has been missing his presence having not found an adequate replacement. 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Benfica roster for Setubal match

Benfica Blog
Benfica's tail spin has finally cost them top spot after another poor outing against Morereinse in Week 23, the Eagles travel to Setubal hoping to get their season and title hopes back on trap. Benfica will play Setubal today at 6pm WEST and they will dress 18 players from the list below.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Mile Svilar

Defenders- Tomas Tavares, Alex Grimaldo, Ruben Dias, Ferro, Nuno Tavares

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Pizzi, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Rafa Silva, Samaris, Florentino, Julian Weigl

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Jota, Dyego Sousa

Friday, March 6, 2020

Pizzi has moved into third in all time goal scorers at new Luz

Benfica Blog
Benfica is struggling along in the second half of the season but one player that has continued to excel in this time of sorrow for the club and its fans is recently named Benfica footballer of the year Pizzi. The 30 year old accepted the award as the clubs best player at Benfica's recent gala on Wednesday night, Pizzi has scored 25 goals this season and assisted on 13 others across all competitions and is slowly climbing the charts of all time goal scorers at the "New" Estadio da Luz. Pizzi has scored 44 goals at his home stadium and currently sits third all time with only Oscar Cardozo's 105 goals and Jonas' 92 goals ahead of him. The "New" Luz has been the clubs home stadium since opening in October 2003 as the centerpiece of newly built and renovated stadiums for Euro 2004. Pizzi who has been a member of Benfica since the summer of 2013 when the club acquired him from Atletico Madrid has surpassed the likes of Simao, Nuno Gomes, Lima and Salvio to move into the third all time spot. Benfica are hoping the Pizzi's form will rub off on the squad as they look to right the ship in their run for the Portuguese League title.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Portuguese tax officials raid the offices of Benfica

Benfica Blog
According to reports coming from Portuguese newspapers, tax officials in Portugal have raided the offices of Benfica as part of an investigation into tax evasion not only by the Lisbon club but raids have also happened to head offices of FC Porto, Sporting, Braga, Guimaraes, Maritimo and Portimonense. Police and tax inspectors carried out a series of raids Wednesday morning as part of the operation which has been billed in Portugal as "Offside". The investigation is going back to 2015 and today's raid involved 180 police officers and 101 tax officials. Benfica have confirmed that the raids took place and are fully ready to co-operate with authorities as needed. Portuguese tax officials are said to be combing through transfers of players as prosecutors look for any proof that money was hidden which could lead to charges that include tax fraud and money laundering.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Benfica inflict own wounds and drop from top spot

Benfica Blog
Benfica have dropped points in league action once again this time against Moreirense and have finally cost themselves top spot in the Portuguese League. Benfica who only a month ago had a seven point lead atop the Portuguese League have only won one league game in their last four, acquiring four total points in that span on their way to falling out of first place to their only rivals for the title FC Porto by one point. Benfica have struggled to finish of late and this game was no different with the club missing a host of chances to take the lead, the club had Pizzi miss two opportunities from the penalty spot and had a Rafa Silva goal called back after a VAR review that spotted a Pizzi handball before the ball landed at Rafa's feet.

Benfica ended up lucky to even earn a draw in the encounter with the goal to equalize coming in additional time. Benfica's winter transfer window continues to baffle fans more and more as this poor run continues, the lack of picking up an experienced central defender has caused the club to use a less then 100% Ferro regularly in the center of the defense while youngster Tomas Tavares continues to show that he is not ready for a regular role in place of injured Andre Almeida as he continues to be caught out of position, while adding little to the attack in the right back position. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Benfica roster for Moreirene encounter

Benfica continue their fight for the league title with a home game in Week 23 against Moreirense. After a disappointing exit during the week to Shakhtar in the Europa League round of 32. Benfica look to get back on track with a victory at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica will play Moreirense today at 8:45pm WEST and they will dress 18 players from the list below.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Mile Svilar

Defenders- Tomas Tavares, Alex Grimaldo, Ruben Dias, Ferro, Nuno Tavares

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Pizzi, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Rafa Silva, Samaris, Florentino, Julian Weigl, David Tavares

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Jota, Dyego Sousa

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Bruno Lage says Seferovic out of lineup

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Bruno Lage has stated that last seasons leading scorer Haris Seferovic will not be an option when Benfica takes on Moreirense tomorrow in league action. Lage did not divulge if Seferovic had picked up an injury in the clubs recent Europa League loss to Shakhtar or through training when he made the announcement. Seferovic has struggled this season in the absence of Joao Felix who was sold during the summer for a record transfer to Spanish club Atletico Madrid. The emergence of striker Carlos Vinicius has cut into Seferovic's playing time and the Swiss striker has scored only six goals all season across all competitions a far cry from last seasons ending 27. The recent acquisition of striker Dyego Sousa on loan during the winter transfer window looks to have knocked Seferovic down another peg on the striker list if the absence is not do to any type of injury. Lage was vague when questioned about the absence of Seferovic from the squads selection. The omission comes as a blow to the current striking option of the Swiss national side as Benfica are set to take on Moreirense tomorrow at the Luz as their quest for the Portuguese League title continues.