Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Varela and Cadiz to return back to Benfica

Benfica Blog
Benfica loanees Bruno Varela and Jhonder Cadiz are set to return back to the club after the Dutch and French leagues had their seasons cancelled due to the COVID-19. Varela who returns from Ajax after spending the past one and half seasons with the club as their back up keeper, appeared in only three games with the main club across all competitions. Varela who spent the 2017/18 season as Benfica's number one keeper has a contract with the club until the summer of 2022 but is currently not in Benfica's plans going forward and will more then likely be loaned out once again next season. Cadiz who joined Benfica from Setubal this past summer has yet to appear with the Portuguese club and was loaned to French side Dijon for the season. Cadiz appeared in 22 games for Dijon across all competitions scoring three goals while adding three helpers. Cadiz's role with the club going forward is a bit more uncertain as Benfica may look at retaining the players services depending on what summer sales take place.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Barcelona linked with move for Ruben Dias

Benfica Blog
Barcelona have joined the race to land Benfica's central defender Ruben Dias according to reports from Catalan paper Mundo Deportivo who states that Dias is one of the names on the club's scouting agenda for some time. Barcelona joins the likes of Manchester City who are also monitoring the player. The paper also states that Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira wants Dias' €100M buy out clause met in any negotiation and is not open to sit at the table to discuss the players move otherwise. Dias has appeared in 124 games across all competitions for Benfica, scoring eleven times and setting up another five since becoming a regular starter with the club during the 2017/18 season.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Taca de Portugal between Benfica and FC Porto could be cancelled

Benfica Blog
The Portuguese Football Federation is currently debating if there will be a Taca de Portugal final this season due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Taca de Portugal which is normally the last game of the Portuguese season was set to take place on May 24 between Benfica and FC Porto but unless the the P.F.F. gets the green light from the Directorate of General Health that the game can be played amid under strict restrictions the P.F.F. will not proceed with the game. The Federation has said it will not reach this conclusion without speaking to the two clubs involved but would not go against the Directorate if they were told the game could not be played. The Federation has accepted that if the game was to go forward it would be played in an empty stadium with the date and stadium to be determined.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Carlos Gabriel latest Brazilian linked to Benfica

Benfica Blog
Carlos Gabriel is the latest Brazilian linked with a move to Benfica according to reports coming out of Portugal. The 20 year old Gabriel is on Benfica's list of future targets and has been loaned by parent club Atletico Mineiro to Parana until the end of November. Gabriel plays the left back position and could be seen as the heir apparent to current starter Alex Grimaldo. Gabriel came through the Mineiro youth system and spent the past two seasons with the main squad before being loaned to Parana in January for more playing time. Gabriel is known in Brazil as Hulk due to his build and is strong on the ball while being surprisingly quick. Benfica hopes to see the player in person in the near future once the world is back to a somewhat normal place.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Benfica squad await news about returning to work

Benfica Blog
Benfica have not been in action since drawing 1-1 with Setubal on March 7th and the squad was given vacation a month later on April 7th with no definite time table to return back to work with the club. The SAD officials are said to be currently working on how the players will return to work safely at Seixal in accordance with the new league guidelines set up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports say that Benfica is leaning on having all players and staff back by months end or early May to resume training while the league looks at options on how to recommence the season behind closed doors. Benfica currently sit one point behind league leaders FC Porto with ten league games remaining in the season.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

David Luiz wants Benfica return before career ends

Benfica Blog
Former Benfica defender David Luiz has let it be known through SporTV that his heart has always been with the club that gave him his start in European football and dreams of the day that he can wear the Benfica jersey once again before he calls time on his career. The 33 year old central defender joined Benfica in the winter of 2007 on loan from Brazilian side E.C. Vitoria before the club made the move permanent for a mere €500K six months later. Luiz spent three and a half seasons in Lisbon, appearing in 130 games across all competitions and was named the league player of the year in Benfica's title run of 2009/10. Benfica cashed in on Luiz's popularity across Europe in the winter of 2011, selling the defender to Chelsea for €25M and making a hefty profit from their original purchase price. Luiz went on to win the Champions League with the London club in 2012 and has spent time at PSG, a return to Chelsea and now calls Arsenal home. With the rumoured retirement of Jardel after this season Benfica could potentially be looking to add a veteran presence at center back and with David Luiz's heart already in Lisbon it will be up to the club if they want to add the body. 

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Franco Cervi turns down move to Brazil

Benfica Blog
Brazilian club Internacional have their eyes set on making a move to acquire Benfica midfielder Franco Cervi when the transfer window opens up in the summer. Internacional's manager Eduardo Coudet managed the winger while running Cervi's former club Rosario Central back in 2015-2016 and is a big fan of his former player. Cervi though is said to not be interested in departing Benfica for a return back to South America at this time and would prefer to remain with the Lisbon side. Cervi joined Benfica in the summer of 2016 for €5.7M and has appeared in 143 games for the club across all compeitions, Cervi has scored 20 goals and setting up 26 over that span. The 25 year old made his Argentina national team debut in September 2018 and scored coming on as a substitute against Iraq.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Mile Svilar still in Benfica's future plans

Benfica Blog
Mile Svilar has yet to appear for the main squad this season but the 20 year old Belgian shot stopper is still a part of Benfica's future plans. Svilar who has a contract until 2022 with the club joined Benfica in the summer of 2017 from Anderlecht for €4.5M and has appeared in 20 games across all competitions with six clean sheets. Svilar has spent the 2019/20 season with Benfica's B squad appearing in 20 games. Benfica are said to be interested in extending Svilar's contract past the current expiry date as the keeper currently is the clubs third choice behind starter Vlachodimos and Ivan Zlobin. The financial effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic are yet to be known to the club and Benfica are looking to safe guard an important position from within by extending Svilar.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Angel Di Maria talks to UEFA about time at Benfica

Benfica Blog
Former Benfica winger Angel Di Maria gave an interview with UEFA's official website recently about his career and made sure to give his first European club Benfica major credit for becoming the player that he is today. Angel Di Maria joined Benfica from Rosario during the summer of 2007 for €8M after winning the World Cup U20 in Canada with Argentina. Di Maria told UEFA's website that Benfica gave him everything in his time with the club and that it is like his first home after making the leap from South America to Europe. Di Maria spent three seasons with Benfica, winning one league title, two league cups and appeared in 118 games across all competitions. Di Maria scored 15 goals while setting up 28 before departing to Real Madrid in the summer of 2010 for a then club record transfer fee of €33M. Di Maria also credited Benfica for earning his first call up to the Argentinian National side in September 2008 and that the club will always be important to him and his family.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Benfica set to give young striker Ramos a look

Benfica Blog
With this seasons completion still up in the air as in when and where the league may be able to finish it up due to COVID-19, it has not stopped Benfica's coaching staff from thinking of steps to improve the club for next season. Benfica look set to promote another Seixal Academy product with secondary striker Goncalo Ramos' ready to make the move to the main squad. The 18 year old would slip into a role similar to what Jonas and Joao Felix played with the squad in previous years under a 4-4-2 system. Ramos was one of 60 finalists for the recent Golden Boy award won by Joao Felix and was the golden boot winner as a member of Portugal's U19 finalist squad in the recent 2019 U19 European Championship. Ramos has also been a key member of Benfica's UEFA Youth League run to the quarter-finals scoring four goals and adding three assists in six games. Ramos has also chipped in four goals and two assists in twenty games with Benfica's B squad in the Liga Pro. Bruno Lage continues to look for a secondary striker to complement his lead striker and feels that Ramos could be that key player between the midfield to the attack that Benfica has been missing this season. Lage is hoping to find out that answer sooner then later when it comes to Ramos.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Espanyol decline to exercise option on Facundo

Benfica Blog
Facundo Ferreyra's one and half season loan by Benfica to Espanyol is set to end tentatively on June 30 and the Spanish side plans to decline to exercise the purchase option of €8M from Benfica to make Facundo's move permanent. Facundo joined Espanyol during the winter transfer window of 2019 on loan for a fee of €2.2M and appeared in 33 total games across all competitions for Espanyol scoring nine goals while setting up one during his spell. Facundo was loaned to Espanyol after failing to impress during his short time at Benfica scoring just once in nine games while falling out of favour with former manager Rui Vitoria. Benfica are hoping to find a club to take on the services of the 29 year old striker as they look to shed Ferreyra's high salary from the teams payroll, Ferreyra is signed for another two seasons and not in the teams plans going forward.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Agustin Urzi says Benfica interested in services

Benfica Blog
Argentinian 19 year winger Agustin Urzi has told TNT Sports that Benfica is one of an extensive list of clubs to have approached his agent and club Banfield to discuss his potential services next season. Urzi who has come through the Banfield system made his first team appearance last season and has appeared in 32 games for the club across all competitions. The acquisition of Urzi who primarily plays left wing would provide an option that Benfica currently lacks to shift to a 4-3-3 system when necessary. Urzi did not disclose to TNT Sports if any dollar figures have been exchanged between Benfica and Banfield but is excited about a potential move to a bigger club in the future.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Alaves will let Fejsa loan end without purchase

Benfica Blog
Alaves look to have made a decision on midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa for next season and the Spanish side will pass on making the loan move from Benfica permanent. Fejsa who is a defensive midfield specialist offers little offensively and has made five appearance for Alaves since joining on loan in January. The 31 year old Serbian became a member of Benfica in the summer of 2013 from Olympiakos for €4.5M and has appeared in 169 games across all competitions. Fejsa has won thirteen trophies in his time with Benfica which includes five league championships and is an active member of the Serbian national side, last appearing for his country in June of 2019.

Newcastle keen to bid on Benfica's Rafa Silva

Benfica Blog
English club Newcastle are reportedly interested in Benfica play maker Rafa Silva as an addition to the club for next season and are just awaiting to see what their finances look like amid the COVID-19 virus. Newcastle are said to be ready to offer Benfica between €15M-€20M for the 26 year old winger but the Lisbon side will likely hold off on selling Rafa if it does not receive at least a €25M to €30M offer from the Baggies. Benfica acquired Rafa from Braga for €16M in the summer of 2016 and he has appeared in 125 games across all competitions since joining the club, scoring 35 goals while assisting on 20. Rafa was also a member of Portugal's winning Euro 2016 squad and their 2019 Nations League title winners.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Benfica will look to add from league due to COVID-19 crisis

Benfica Blog
Benfica who are already being linked to Rio Ave striker Taremi and Boavista keeper Helton Leite within the Portuguese League could be looking to add more from within the league due to the current COVID-19 crisis as the club looks to tighten their budget for the time being going forward. Benfica who by adding Taremi and Leite strengthen their striker and keeper positions will also be in the market for a right back, central defender or two and a midfielder.

Starting at center back we revisit an earlier blog post which saw us discuss the potential acquisitions by Benfica of Braga center back Bruno Wilson and Rio Ave center back Toni Borevkovic who could both be added for a reasonable price value. Benfica could also look at Moreirense's Steven Vitoria for an added veteran presence in the number three or four role.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Benfica linked with Rio Ave striker Taremi

Benfica Blog
Benfica have set their sights on acquiring Iranian striker Taremi from Rio Ave during the summer transfer window as the club looks within the league to bolster their squad next season as opposed to splashing millions of dollars abroad amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. The 27 year old joined Rio Ave in the summer from Qatar side Al Gharafa on a free transfer and has scored 11 goals in 27 games across all competitions. Benfica will have competition for Taremi's services from rivals FC Porto and Sporting but are counting on their good relationship with Rio Ave to seal the deal for Taremi.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Benfica look at potential replacement for Grimaldo

Benfica Blog
Benfica are kicking tires when it comes to a potential replacement for Alex Grimaldo who has been heavily linked with a departure to Tottenham before the start of next season. The Eagles are said to be interested in Villarreal's 23 year old left back Alfonso Pedraza who has spent the season on loan at Real Betis but has failed to see regular minutes with the Sevilla side, playing behind current starter Alex Moreno. Pedraza has appeared in 12 games across all competitions this season after appearing in 82 games the previous two seasons between Villarreal and Alaves. Villarreal are said to be asking €10M for the sale of Pedraza which is in the ball park that Benfica would be open to spending on the former Spainish U21 international.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The layoff gets Benfica players back to health

Benfica Blog
The current COVID-19 pandemic has seen the stoppage of league play since March 12 and some of the only good news coming out of this current world crisis is that Benfica has seen its list of injured players return back to health. Andre Almeida, Gabriel and Jardel are all awaiting the green light to return to training without limitations in preparation for the league resuming regular play down the road. Benfica would welcome the return to full strength of the squad with two of its regular starting eleven in Almeida and Gabriel back as options for Bruno Lage and Jardel would return as the third choice option at the center back position which the club currently lacks. The Portuguese league is currently considering resuming play at the end of May with the whole competition finishing the remaining games under quarantine in the Algarve in empty stadiums but what would be a boom for television viewership.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Julian Weigl uses time off to learn Portuguese

Benfica Blog
With the Portuguese league suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic midfielder Julian Weigl has decided to use his time off to continue to learn the Portuguese language as he gets adapted to his new homeland. Weigl posted a video online yesterday with his girlfriend as the two translated some extremely long German words into Portuguese. Weigl recently joined Benfica during the winter transfer window for €20M from Borussia Dortmund and has appeared in eleven games across all competitions for Benfica. 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Benfica in race to sign River Plate's Quarta

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue to look at bolstering their squad for next season even as the league continues on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the latest player that the club has been linked to is River Plate center back Lucas Quarta. Benfica joins a host of clubs that have been linked to the center back, those clubs include West Ham, Inter Milan and Valencia. The 23 year old Quarta is a home grown River Plate player that has come through the clubs famed academy and plays a position of need for Benfica with the possibility of summer sales of their current starting center backs, Benfica who have also been linked with Freiburg center back Robin Koch will need to bolster the position. Quarta has appeared in 96 games for River Plate across all competitions since debuting with the main squad in 2016 and is signed until the summer of 2021 with a buy out clause of €20M. According to reports out of Portugal, River Plate may be willing to accept an offer of €15M to let Quarta depart the club.