Jose Mourinho has stated Benfica’s teenage star Joao Felix, a reported transfer target of Real Madrid and Barcelona, “can play for any club in the world.”
The former Madrid and Manchester 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.
“But both players are fantastic, great talents, and they can play for any team in the world.”
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.
Felix has netted in two Lisbon derbies against Sporting CP this season and also scored against FC Porto in a key title clash in January.
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.