Monday April 15 2019
Juventus 'ahead of Real Madrid' for Benfica star Joao Felix

Juventus are in pole position to sign Benfica star and reported Real Madrid transfer target Joao Felix, report Diario AS.

Felix, 19, has risen to prominence for the Lisbon-based giants this season and has netted 16 goals for the club, who now lead the Portuguese top flight.

The report claims Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici will meet Felix’s agent Jorge Mendes on Tuesday to reach an agreement for the teenage star.

The player’s contract at the Lisbon-based giants contains a €120m release clause although the report claims Benfica are trying to move this up to €200m.

Mendes and Paratici already collaborated in deals for Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Cancelo last summer, and the pair would reportedly previously met to discuss Felix in March.

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.

Football Italia website