Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Javi Garcia surprised by Benfica links

Benfica Blog
Current Boavista center back and former Benfica midfielder Javi Garcia was taken by surprise by a report in the Portuguese daily A Bola last week that linked the 35 year old with a return to Benfica as part of incoming manager Roger Schmidt's coaching staff for next season. Javi confirmed that no one from Benfica has spoken to him about such a move and that he still has a contract for one more season at Boavista.

Javi appeared in 132 games across all competitions for Benfica in three seasons at the club from 2009 to 2012, winning one League Championship along with three Taca da Liga trophies before departing. Javi has spent time in his career at various clubs which include Real Madrid, Manchester City and Real Betis among a host of others. Javi joined Boavista on a free transfer in the summer of 2020.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Benfica end season and look to next year

Benfica Blog
Benfica closed out their 2021/22 campaign yesterday with a 2-0 victory over Pacos Ferreira in a game that saw many of the clubs academy players get a shot in the spotlight before closing the curtain on this campaign. Henrique Araujo scored a brace, earning player of the game honours and sending a message to incoming manager Roger Schmidt that he is ready for the big stage at Lisbon next season.

Benfica finish third in the league for the second straight season and will next to go through a playoff once again if they are to make the group stage of the Champions League. Benfica also failed to collect any hardware for the third straight season, their coming in the summer of 2019 when the captured the Portuguese Super Cup.

Benfica fans can expect many changes for next season as the club looks to right the ship under their new manager Schmidt. Benfica could see as many as ten players on the current roster depart in the summer with striker and current golden boot leader Darwin Nunez headlining the long list as the club looks for a fresh start.

Benfica fans the season is over but now a new kind of fun begins with all the summer moves in and out of the club and we can once again renew hope for the 2022/23 season..... all aboard.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Incoming manager Schmidt wants Dutch left back

Benfica Blog
Benfica's incoming manager Roger Schmidt is said to have recommended that the club look towards the Eredivisie for the potential replacement of Alex Grimaldo who looks set to depart the club for greener pastures this summer. Schmidt is interested in current AZ Alkmaar's left back and Dutch International Owen Wijndal as his starting right back for next season but Benfica are already in advance talks for other players to take over at the position.

Wijndal has come through the Alkmaar youth ranks and has represented the Netherlands in all age levels throughout competitions. The 22 year old was part of the Netherlands Euro 2020 squad and appeared as a substitute off the bench twice during the competition. Wijndal has appeared in 42 games for Alkmaar across all competitions this season, scoring once while setting up twelve helpers.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Benfica look to have found a new right back

Benfica Blog
Benfica have made contact with Czech club Slavia Prague to discuss their current 24 year old right back Alexander Bah, as the club looks to improve at a position that was one of their weaker links this season. The Danish international has spent the past season and a half with Prague were he has appeared in 68 games across all competitions, scoring seven goals and setting up sixteen.

Benfica spent the season with a variety of different players at the position from Gilberto to Andre Almeida to Diogo Goncalves to Valentino Lazaro but were unable to find a clear cut number one with Gilberto earning the most appearances in the role. Benfica would be expected to spend between €7M to €10M for Prague to let go of Bah who is signed until the summer of 2025.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Benfica land Boavista striker Petar Musa

Benfica Blog
Benfica have made an agreement with Boavista to land 24 year old Croatian striker Petar Musa after the clubs are said to have made an agreement that involves cash and players according to reports from Portugal. Benfica have been in negotiations for Musa for quite some time and the deal finally looks to be closed.

Musa was on loan from Sparta Prague with a buy option for a reported €3.5M which Boavista have activated. Benfica will give Boavista €5M for Musa along with the rights to Ilija Vukotic who is currently already at Boavista on loan and the 50% of the rights of left back Ricardo Mangas that the club still owned.

Musa has had a great first season in Portugal, appearing in 35 games across all competitions, scoring 12 goals while adding 4 assists. Musa is Benfica's first signing for the 2022/23 season as the club looks to get back on track after a string of disappointing seasons that has seen them go trophy less.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Benfica continue links with Eredivisie players

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue to be linked to players currently applying their trade in the Eredivisie which is the current league of incoming manager Roger Schmidt. The latest players linked to Benfica are two of Schmidt's own PSV players, Mario Gotze and Ibrahim Sangare who have patrolled the midfield for the Dutch side for the past two seasons.

The 29 year old Gotze is a former World Cup champion with Germany and has an affordable buyout clause reported at €4M. Gotze has appeared in 74 games for PSV across all competitions, scoring 18 goals while setting up the same amount. Gotze had spent all of his playing career in Germany between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund before joining PSV on a free transfer in the summer of 2020 and has spent the majority of his career playing in an attacking midfield role.

Sangare who is 24 years old also joined PSV in the summer of 2020 from French club Toulouse for €7M and would be a more costly acquisition for Benfica, some saying in the €20M-€25M range. Sangare who plays in the defensive midfield role, has appeared in 85 games for PSV across all competitions, scoring five goals while also setting up five. Sangare has also been linked with richer sides Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester City.

The continued links that Benfica have with various players no matter who they end up actually obtaining, does mean one thing, expect big changes at the club for next season.


Monday, May 2, 2022

Benfica linked to Waalwijk defender Touba

Benfica Blog
Benfica have added RKC Waalwijk defender Ahmed Touba to their summer transfer wish list according to reports from French publication Foot Mercato. Incoming new manager Roger Schmidt is famaliar with the 24 year old center back from their encounters in the Dutch Eredivisie over the past two seasons. Schmidt has a plan for Benfica and is looking to add the right players to his incoming system for next season.

Touba who plays internationally for Algeria was born in France and spent his youth in the Belgian football system, spending time at Club Brugge, OH Leuven and FC Brugge before moving to Dutch side Waalwijk in the summer of 2020. Touba has appeared in 60 games across all competitions for Waalwijk, scoring three goals while setting up an additional two. Touba's addition would more then likely mean the departure of one of the clubs senior center backs in Jan Vertonghen or Nicolas Otamendi.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Benfica President Rui Costa wants Horta at club

Benfica Blog
Benfica President Rui Costa is said to want Braga winger Ricardo Horta as a reinforcement for next season at the club according to reports from Portugal. Benfica's interest in Horta is not new but with the club set for a major overhaul of players this summer, he is a player currently on the clubs radar. 

Horta who is 27 years old came up through Benfica's youth system along with brother Andre Horta but did not make any appearances for the main squad before departing to Setubal in the summer of 2013. Horta then made a move to Spanish side Malaga in 2014 before a season long loan sent him to Braga in 2016 a move that became permanent in the summer of 2017.

Horta has had a sensation 2021/22 campaign in which he has scored 21 goals across all competitions including 17 in league play while providing 10 assists. Horta has appeared in 277 games since joining Braga across all competitions, scoring 91 goals which is the clubs all time high while adding 48 assists. Braga President Antoine Salvador is said to want €20M to move Horta but Benfica will work to lower that price tag by adding some of the clubs youngsters to any future deal.

Schmidt asks Benfica for new keeper

Benfica Blog
Roger Schmidt, Benfica's unofficial new manager is said to have already been making requests of the club for new player acquisitions during the summer and one of those players according to reports out of Portugal is current Arminia Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega. The 29 year old shot stopper becomes a free agent in the summer and Schmidt is interested in Ortega becoming the clubs new number one keeper taking over the spot currently held by another German born keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.

Ortega has spent the past five seasons at Bielefeld, were he has appeared in 218 games across all competitions while maintaining 68 clean sheets in the process. Ortega is said to have other interested suitors in German clubs Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen but both clubs would be looking at Ortega in a back up role which may just give Benfica the upper hand in negotiations for the keeper.