Real Madrid favourites for Benfica star Joao Felix

Real Madrid are ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign Benfica’s teenage star Joao Felix, according to a report.

Felix, 19, has risen to prominence for the Lisbon-based giants this season and has netted 12 goals for the club, who now lead the Portuguese top flight.

The teenager has netted in two Lisbon derbies against Sporting CP this season and also scored against FC Porto in a key title clash in January.

Jose Mourinho has stated Felix “can play for any club in the world”, while The Sun say Madrid are favourites to beat United in the race for the player.

The former Madrid and United boss, who has been out of work since December, was discussing the potential of the teenager and Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

“They are not Cristiano (Ronaldo), but I think it’s ridiculous to compare anyone to him,” Mourinho told Record in Portugal this week.

“But both players are fantastic, great talents, and they can play for any team in the world.”

That has led to the attack-minded midfielder being labelled as ‘the next Cristiano Ronaldo’ while Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United have also scouted the player.

“Right now we are not interested in selling Joao Felix, and soon we will increase his release clause,” Benfica president Filipe Vieira told Tuttosport, in quotes cited by ESPN FC last month.

“He is one of the best products to have emerged from Portuguese football since Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Felix currently has a €120m release clause on a deal through to 2023, which Benfica are keen to improve.

“My dream has always been to play for the biggest clubs in Europe,” Felix said in March, in an interview with Marca.

“Spain or England? I would prefer to play in Spain.”

The player is said to be versatile and can operate in a number of attacking positions, while he starred in the UEFA Youth League semi-finals in 2016-17 against Madrid.

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