Benfica says Atletico made offer for teenager João Félix
MADRID (AP) — Benfica says Atlético Madrid has made an offer of 126 million euros ($143 million) to sign teenage forward João Félix, touted in Portugal as a possible successor to Cristiano Ronaldo.
The transfer would be one of the most expensive ever in soccer, with a higher price tag than what Juventus paid Real Madrid for Ronaldo — nearly 100 million euros ($113 million) — last year.
Benfica said Wednesday the club was evaluating the offer, which would give the club a net value of 120 million euros ($136 million), equivalent to the player’s buyout clause.
Atlético is expected to receive that same amount for the sale of France forward Antoine Griezmann, who announced at the end of the season he was leaving the Spanish club.
The 19-year-old Félix made his debut with Portugal’s national team at the inaugural UEFA Nations League earlier this month. He played with Ronaldo in the team’s opener but was on the bench for the rest of the tournament that host Portugal eventually won.
Félix began drawing comparisons to the 34-year-old Ronaldo after making a rapid rise through the youth squads of Benfica. He debuted with the first team in August and quickly established himself as a regular starter for the Portuguese champions.
Extremely skillful and a gifted scorer, Félix was the youngest player to appear in Benfica’s “B” team, at 16. He was also the youngest to score at the team’s Stadium of Light, at 18, and the youngest to score a hat trick in the Europa League, at 19, after the competition was re-branded in 2009.