Reports in Portugal say Malaga left-back Eliseu is the key to Benfica’s Javier Saviola signing for the Costa del Sol club.
‘Saviola leaves, Eliseu comes’ was the headline in Record, who insist that any deal might be a straight swap between the two clubs.
A Bola reported that Benfica ‘were eyeing’ the Portuguese international while O Jogo considered Saviola’s transfer would be ‘eased’ if Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini gave it the green light.
Los Blanquiazules held talks with Saviola on and were widely expected to sign the Argentine international before their Champions League qualifier with Panathinaikos on Wednesday.
However, Benfica boss Jorge Jesus is now keen to bring Eliseu to the Estadio Da Luz as cover after Joan Capdevila’s departure to Espanyol during the summer, and sees the Malaga man as one of his preferred options.
Pellegrini’s interest in Saviola was confirmed in declarations to Portuguese radio by the player’s representative Diego Queiruga, while Benfica plan to replace him with PSV Eindhoven’s Tim Matavz.
Saviola was a first-team regular in his first two seasons at Benfica after a €5m move from Real Madrid in summer 2009, but lost his place last season to Brazilian Rodrigo Moreno.