Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has warned suitors of centre-back Antonio Silva that the 20-year-old will not be allowed to leave the club this winter.
90min understands Manchester United and Liverpool have both sent scouts to watch Silva alongside midfield teammate Joao Neves, while reports in Spain have named Real Madrid as an interested party after David Alaba’s ACL injury left them in a major injury crisis.
Neves is understood to be holding talks over a contract extension with Benfica but Silva, whose current deal contains a €100m (£88m) release clause, has been tipped to leave in January by a handful of reports across Europe.
In response to suggestions either Neves or Silva could leave, Schmidt made it clear that Benfica will not be picking up the phone this winter.
“I talk to them every day, all of them,” he told a press conference. “We’re in the middle of the season, we have big goals with Benfica.
“Of course we’re not going to let these players leave, we need them and they don’t want to leave. There’s no question about that.”
Europe’s elite also have an eye on another Portuguese defender, with Sporting CP’s Goncalo Inacio also catching the eye.
Inacio, 22, is seen as a more viable target for the January window as his release clause sits at just €60m (£52m), but Sporting manager Ruben Amorim has already made it clear any suitors will have to pay that figure if they want to lure Inacio away.
“If they pay the release clause, he has to go, if they don’t, nobody will leave,” Amorim told a press conference last month.
Elsewhere, the likes of Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah and Borussia Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck have been tracked by the Premier League’s top sides.
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