Manchester United’s search for a holding midfielder has led them to make enquiries about Benfica’s Florentino Luis, according to ESPN.
The 20-year-old, who is usually just known as ‘Florentino’, is still a fringe player at the Estadio da Luz, having played just fifteen games in all competitions for the Portuguese side this season following a promising run in the first eleven at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
The player’s agent Bruno Carvalho Santos admitted recently that ‘Florentino is one of the highest rated young defensive midfielders in Europe, so there is a lot of interest in him at the moment.
‘There has been a lot of talk about Milan, but I can tell you that there is a lot of competition for his services, with clubs in England, Germany and Spain also following him closely.’
ESPN claims that one of those English clubs is Manchester United and that Carvalho Santos met with United officials in January to discuss a potential move to Old Trafford.
The Lisbon-born player shares the same nickname as Paul Pogba of ‘The Octopus’.
United are reportedly prioritising the defensive midfield position along with the right wing as they search for summer reinforcements.
Rennes’ 17-year-old prodigy Eduardo Camavinga, West Ham’s Declan Rice, Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey are all holding midfielders that have been linked with the Red Devils in recent weeks.
Competition for Camavinga is fierce, with Real Madrid leading the race to sign him, and there is likely to be the usual ‘English player premium’ for Rice. Partey and Zakaria, who are both also being chased by Arsenal, may represent the best value, with the former having a release clause of just £43 million and the latter expected to fetch in the region of £40 million.
With a market value of around £15 million, on the other hand, Florentino would be more of a development project and potentially used as an understudy to Nemanja Matic over the course of the 2020/21 season.
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