Transfer race heats up as Napoli, Juventus, PSG join Liverpool in race for Portuguese wonderkid

Jason Soutar
Reported Liverpool target Antonio Silva during the Portugal national anthem

Benfica defender Antonio Silva is attracting interest from Napoli, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Liverpool, according to reports.

The 19-year-old broke into the Benfica first team this season and starred as their under-19 side won the UEFA Youth League last term.

He started all six Champions League group games this term as his side finished top ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

The centre-half was rewarded for his fine form with a maiden Portugal cap in November and was named in Fernando Santos’ 26-man squad for the World Cup.

Silva started for Portugal in their final group game – a 2-1 loss against South Korea.

Santos’ side still finished top of Group H and have their last-16 clash against Switzerland on Tuesday night.

It is no surprise to see a host of top European clubs linked with Silva.

A report in November stated that Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will look to sign the teenager if he fails to bring in Ajax’s Jurrien Timber.

Silva reportedly has a €100million release clause in his current contract – which expires in 2027 after he penned an extension in September.

Rudy Galetti says PSG have made ‘several approaches’ to sign the defender, but the French champions are also keen on Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.

Liverpool and Tottenham have also been linked with the 19-year-old and Portuguese outlet A Bola have previously reported that an unnamed English club have bid £52m for him.

A Bola now say that Juventus are keen, and they cite Corriere dello Sport, who say Serie A leaders Napoli are also interested.

It is said that Napoli will probably only make a move to sign Silva should they lose Kim Min-Jae, who is a reported Manchester United target.

The Naples outfit are also supposedly looking at AS Monaco centre-half Benoit Badiashile, who was linked with Newcastle United, though their summer acquisition of Sven Botman probably means they are no longer interested.

While Liverpool are reportedly keen, they do have four decent central defenders at the club already.

Jurgen Klopp’s number-one centre-half is undoubtedly Virgil van Dijk, though he does have Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate, and Joe Gomez at his disposal.

The Reds probably won’t sign another player in this position unless they lose one of those four.

The most likely to leave is probably Gomez, who was not named in England’s World Cup squad after struggling for minutes over the last two years.

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