Fulham will do battle with Leeds for the services of Benfica starlet Florentino Luis, who could move to the Premier League on loan with a view to a permanent deal, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.
The Whites have identified the Portuguese midfielder, who can play as a defensively-minded screener of the back four or as a more adventurous box-to-box player, as an option to strengthen their side ahead of Fulham’s return to the top flight. The Londoners are exploring the possibility of taking the 20 year-old, whose emergence into the Benfica side has been disrupted by a series of niggling injuries over the past year, on loan – with Luis’s parent club making him available, but seeking a massive £40m for a future sale.
The highly-rated midfielder, who has been a longstanding target of AC Milan, is also interesting Leeds, who are also contemplating a possible loan deal. Luis, a star in the junior football where he helped Portugal win the European under-16 and under-18 championships in 2016 and 2018, made his senior debut for Benfica as a subsitute in a ten-goal tonking of Nacional in February 2019 before helping the Eagles beat Galatasaary in the Europa League four days later – which was the club’s first win in Turkey.
The powerful midfielder, who is of Angolan descent, made eleven appearances as Benfica won the Portuguese title in 2018/2019, but he played just ten league games this season, frustrated by a troublesome knee injury before returning for the last three domestic fixtures. Benfica are now open to loaning him out for first-team experience – but the hefty price tag for a permanent deal highlights his significant potential.