Benfica rule out Joao Felix exit


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Benfica say they have no intention of allowing rising star Joao Felix to depart over the summer.

The attacking midfielder has been included in the latest Portugal squad and could make his debut against Serbia on Monday, having been left on the bench for the 0-0 draw with Ukraine in their Euro 2020 Group B opener on Friday.

Portugal are 1.62 to beat Serbia, a draw is 3.80 and Serbia can be backed at 5.50. Felix has starred for Benfica this season with 10 goals and four assists in 18 appearances in Portugal’s top flight.

The likes of Real Madrid and Juventus have been linked with the 19-year-old, while there is also thought to be interest from the Premier League as both Manchester United and Liverpool are thought to be admirers.

Felix, who has been likened to Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo by the press in his homeland, has a €120million release clause in his current deal and Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieira says he won’t be sold this summer – and they hope to tie the playmaker down to a new deal.

He told Tuttosport: “I am happy that all of Europe is talking about Benfica’s talents. Now it is clear that our project of betting on young players is bearing the desired results.

“Joao Felix the next Ronaldo? There is only one sure thing: Felix is one of the best talents produced by Portuguese footballer since Ronaldo. Juventus’ and Real Madrid’s interest in him? Ask them.

“At this moment we are not interested in selling him and soon we will increase the release clause in his contract.” Benfica are 11.00 to win the Europa League outright.

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