Reports: Manchester United and Real Madrid set to battle for 'new Cristiano Ronaldo'
What's the story?
According to reports from ESPN, Premier League giants Manchester United and Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid are keeping tabs on 19-year-old Benfica midfielder João Félix, who has been touted as 'new Cristiano Ronaldo',
With Spanish publication AS already reporting Real Madrid's interest on the youngster, it seems Manchester United has joined the race to secure his services.
In case you didn't know...
Joao Felix has been sensational for the club's youth team as well as the senior team with 8 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions for Benfica this season.
The 19-year-old, who has been nicknamed as 'Hurricane Félix' and has been touted as the 'next Cristiano Ronaldo', is known for his explosive nature on the flanks. He can find spaces at will and dismantle defences with his raw pace and energy, as he has already displayed this season.
The young sensation has been heavily scouted in the last few years, with top European clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain all showing heavy interest in him.
The heart of the matter
According to the report, a source close to the player has informed that Real Madrid have been monitoring his progress, while other top sides including Manchester United, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan, West Ham and Borussia Dortmund have also sent scouts to watch him.
Real Madrid got a first close-up view of Felix's potential when he scored twice as Benfica beat Los Blancos 4-2 in the 2016-17 UEFA Youth League semifinals. Felix, whose release clause is set to a whopping €120 million, could be on the move next summer.
The Portuguese youngster's contract with Benfica is due to expire in 2023 but reports claim that the club is already working on a deal to bump his release clause to €200m.
Rumour rating: 7/10
There is no doubt that both Red Devils and Los Blancos, who are currently in need of reinforcements up front, are targeting such a promising attacker. But whether the club really goes through with the reported bid remains to be seen.
Manchester United will turn their sights on the UEFA Champions League fixture against Paris Saint Germain, while Real Madrid will look to focus on their hectic fixtures on the next few days, which includes facing Atletico Madrid and Ajax away.