Thursday, March 31, 2022

Benfica should look within league for Darwin replacement

Benfica Blog
Benfica are all but certain to sell the rights to striker Darwin Nunez this summer during the transfer window and with the Uruguayan's strong season that has seen him score 26 goals across all competitions in 33 games, Benfica are set to receive an almost record haul for the 22 year old who only joined the club in the summer of 2020.

With Benfica set to receive a minimum €70M for Nunez at this time, the club could receive an even higher fee if Nunez continues his fine form until season end. Benfica will provide 20% of any sale price to Almeria as the Spanish side made sure to include this clause in the sale when the Lisbon side acquired Nunez.

Benfica could also see the departure of Swiss striker Haris Seferovic this summer leaving the club with youngster Goncalo Ramos, Roman Yaremchuk and often injured Rodrigo Pinho as their only options. With a new manager looking set to take over at the club next season the club may need to add a striker or two depending on his formation.

Benfica President Rui Costa has stated he will be looking at cost certainty next season and that the clubs main reinforcements look to be coming from within the league and if that is indeed the case then there are a couple of strikers who come to mind that Benfica could target.

The two strikers the club could look to add this off season are:

Vitinha (Braga) - The 22 year old has been a regular with Braga this season since October and has chipped in 12 goals across all competitions with 5 coming in league play, 6 in the Taca de Portugal and 1 in Europa League play in 30 games of action. Vitinha would more then likely cost Benfica between €12M to €20M to land.

Fran Navarro (Gil Vicente) - The 24 year currently sits fifth in league scoring with 13 goals and has scored 34% of Gil Vicente's goals in league action this season. Navarro is in his first season in Portugal after joining the Barcelos club on a free transfer after playing with Valencia's B squad the season prior and could cost Benfica between €5M to €8M to land.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Benfica linked to non Portuguese manager

Benfica Blog

Benfica continue their hunt for a permanent manager next season to take over at the club and according to reports from German site Kicker and Portuguese daily Record, the club have been in talks with current outgoing PSV manager Roger Schmidt who's contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the season.

The 55 year old German is said to have had several secret meetings with the clubs management in recent weeks and a deal is close to being struck. Schmidt has spent the past two seasons at PSV and has also managed German side Bayer Leverkusen, Chinese club Beijing Guoan and Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg in his career.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Almeria follow Darwin Nunez situation with interest

Benfica Blog
Spanish side Almeria are closely monitoring the Darwin Nunez sweepstakes as the La Liga 2 club are expected to receive a windfall of cash when Benfica sell their striker during this summer's transfer window with a host of Europe's biggest clubs all linked to the 22 year old Uruguayan sensation. 

Benfica President Rui Costa has set a non negotiable price tag of €80M to acquire the players services and Almeria would be entitled to 20% of that sale price, an add on clause that they included when Benfica acquired Nunez in the summer of 2020. Nunez has been on a tear this season scoring 26 goals across all competitions and is currently the leading scorer in the Portuguese League with 20 goals.

Nunez's name has been mentioned with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham and Newcastle already and more clubs are certain to add their names to the growing list of suitors. Nunez recently changed agents in anticipation for a move this summer and it is said that his preference is one of the Manchester clubs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Benfica interested in loan for Trincao next season

Benfica Blog
Benfica have been linked with a summer loan move for former Braga winger Francisco Trincao who is currently on loan in England with Wolverhampton but the club is not alone in their pursuit of the 22 year old as cross town rivals Sporting are also said to be interested in Trincao as well according to reports from Portugal.

Trincao has had a disappointing campaign with Wolves this season and the hope by both Lisbon clubs is that Wolverhampton do not activate their option to buy Trincao for £25M at seasons end and that the winger is returned back to Barcelona. Trincao last played in Portugal for Braga during the 2019/20 season before joining the Spanish giants in the summer of 2020.

Benfica's interest in Trincao could coincide with the potential departure of current winger Rafa Silva who is eager to make a move abroad this summer. Trincao's current bench boss at Wolves Bruno Lage is a big fan of his former pupil, calling him a fantastic player and extraordinary person.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Rafa Silva goal worth price of admission

Benfica Blog
Benfica's Rafa Silva scored a goal that has the world of football talking today after he sprinted end to end to open the scoring for Benfica in their Week 27 encounter against Estoril.

The goal itself was worth the price of admission to yesterday's game and to witness the astonishing feat live by the 28 year old winger was a sight to be hold. Rafa wisely intercepted a short corner attempt by Estoril's Andre Franco and ran three quarters of field down to the Estoril goal through the visiting players before placing the ball past their keeper Daniel Figueira.

Rafa goal saw him sprint over 80 meters in just 11 seconds, while making 11 touches to the ball in between and going an average speed of 27.1 km per hour. All that was missing was an exuberant goal celebration by Rafa after scoring in what should be a shoo in to be announced UEFA's goal of the year.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Benfica's name linked with Shakhtar winger

Benfica Blog
ESPN Brasil is reporting that 22 year old winger Tete who is currently signed with Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk is set to open talks for a move to Benfica for the upcoming season. Atalanta, Monaco and Bayern Munich are other clubs said to be interested in the services of the winger but due to a debt that Shakhtar owes Benfica for the acquisition of Pedrinho this summer, this places Benfica at the forefront of negotiations.

Tete joined Shakhtar in the winter of 2019 from Gremio for €15M and has appeared in 108 games across all competitions for the club, scoring 31 goals while setting up an additional 18. Tete currently sits third in the race for the league's golden boot with just under half the season to go but the season has currently been placed on hold with the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Benfica shock and awe Ajax in Amsterdam

Benfica Blog

Benfica traveled to Amsterdam for their second leg against their heavily favoured Dutch opponents and escaped Amsterdam with a 1-0 victory stunning the Dutch league leaders, many pundits around the globe and their fans, myself included. Benfica entered the game with a plan to sit back and defend hoping that the club would get an opportunity and be able to capitalize on it after a first leg draw at home.

They got that opportunity in the 77th minute of the game off a set piece as striker Darwin Nunez headed home the goal from an Alex Grimaldo cross, silencing a large home crowd minus their own traveling fans and sending the football world into a frenzy around the globe, it was Benfica's only shot on net in the entire game.

Benfica now advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the fifth time and their first since 2016 when they were knocked out by Bayern Munich. Benfica also pocket an additional €10.6M for reaching the final eight and have earned over €55M in the competition this season and will await to find out their opponents Friday from a remaining group of clubs that will be foaming at the mouth hoping to land the Portuguese side in the next round.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Benfica fans hope for a surprise in Amsterdam

Benfica Blog
Benfica take the hope of their fans with them to Amsterdam to take on Ajax in their second leg of their Champions League encounter after fighting to a 2-2 draw in Lisbon in the first leg. Benfica and Ajax are set to face off on Tuesday at the Johan Cruijff Arena in a winner take all match up. Benfica need just a victory to advance and do not need to worry about the away goals suffered at home with UEFA abolishing the rule this season. A Benfica victory would see the club earn an additional €10.6M by moving on to the quarter-final round. Benfica have had a disappointing season, currently sitting in third spot in their domestic league and an advancement past Ajax would give their fans some joy which has been missing for the majority of the year.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Potential Benfica managers for next season

Benfica Blog
Benfica trot through the remainder of a poor season with intern manager Nelson Verissimo at the helm, a man who has clearly shown to be out of his depth managing a club of Benfica's stature. Verissimo can not take all the blame for the poor performances of the club as he should never have been handed the role for such an extended period of time by club President Rui Costa.

Benfica are currently sitting behind first place FC Porto by nine points but this margin could grow to twelve by the time the weekends set of games are over and with only eight league games remaining, Benfica would be lucky to even finish in the Top 2 this season. Benfica's only hope for some sort of glory is if they are able to manage a deep run in the Champions League but with a second leg winner take all game coming up in Amsterdam this week, even the most optimistic fan would find it difficult to not expect another disappointment.

Taking a look at next season, the club will have numerous options at their disposal to take over the managerial post and with Rui Costa's preference of having a Portuguese manager at the club, I'll take a look at who may just be the clubs new manager for the 2022/23 season.

Pedro Martins

Currently managing Olympiacos, he has spent the past four seasons with the Greek giants capturing the past two league titles and is in a comfortable spot to make it three in a row this season. Martins has also won a Greek Cup and has experience managing in Portugal having spent time at Guimaraes, Rio Ave and Martimo.

Odds to manage Benfica: 25 to 1

Ricardo Soares

Currently managing Gil Vicente in Portugal, Soares has been on a fantastic run during the season and currently has the Barcelos club on a ten game unbeaten run, while suffering only once loss in his past sixteen league games. Gil Vicente currently sits fifth in Portugal which has us wondering what can the 47 year old do with a more talented squad.

Odds to manage Benfica: 20 to 1

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Benfica linked to Famalicao left back

Benfica Blog

Benfica are once again being linked to Famalicao left back Adrian Marin according to reports coming out of Spain. The 25 year old is spending the season at Famalicao on loan from Spanish side Granada and the loan does include an option to buy at season end. Marin is being discussed as a potential replacement at left back for Alex Grimaldo who should see his time at Benfica end this summer in the form of a sale with the current Benfica left back linked to a host of clubs. Marin has appeared in 24 games across all competitions for Famalicao this season, scoring twice while also setting up two goals.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Flamengo interested in Benfica shot stopper

Benfica Blog
Benfica's 31 year old keeper Helton Leite has been linked with a loan move to Flamengo according to reports coming from blogs dedicated to the Brazilian club from Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo who are led by Portuguese manager Paulo Sousa are looking for a new shot stopper and Helton's name has been circulating as a top target to take over the number one role with the club. 

Benfica are said to be looking for €500K for the loan move that would see the keeper depart the Lisbon club until the summer of 2023. Helton has appeared in 32 games across all competitions for Benfica since joining from Boavista in the summer of 2020 and has kept 14 clean sheets in those starts. Helton lost out to Vlachodimos for the number one role at Benfica and has only appeared in six games this season with only one coming in league play.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Benfica turn to Greece for Rafa replacement?

Benfica Blog

Benfica look ready to cash in on winger Rafa Silva when the summer transfer window opens later this year with the 28 year old Portuguese International already heavily linked to potential suitors Wolverhampton and Newcastle in England. Benfica are said to have put a €50M price tag on Rafa who has scored 11 goals while providing 17 helpers across all competitions this season.

Benfica are already in the hunt for Rafa's replacement and have been linked with AEK Athens winger Levi Garcia. The Trinidad born 24 year old joined AEK Athens in the summer of 2020 from Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem and has appeared in 63 games for the Greek club across all competitions since his arrival, scoring ten goals while setting up eleven.

Rafa Silva will not be alone in his departure of the club with Benfica set for a flurry of high priced moves during the summer months after reporting a loss for the first half of the season of over €31M earlier this week. Benfica will be looking to cash in on some of their top players while reducing higher salaried players and replacing them with lower ones.