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Liverpool 'leading Barcelona, Real Madrid in race for Benfica starlet'

Liverpool 'leading race for Benfica starlet'
© Reuters
Liverpool are reportedly leading the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in the race for Benfica's highly-rated 18-year-old midfielder Rafael Brito.

Liverpool are reportedly leading the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in the race for Benfica starlet Rafael Brito.

The 18-year-old midfielder is yet to make his senior debut for the Portuguese outfit but has broken into the 'B' team, while also establishing himself as a Portugal Under-19 international.

Benfica are understood to regard Brito as one of their most promising academy products and recently tied him down to a new contract which includes a minimum release clause of £38m.

However, Portuguese newspaper Record reports that the new release clause will only come into effect once Brito makes his league debut for the club, which is understood to have alerted a number of sides.

World and European champions Liverpool are thought to be leading the race for his signature in January, but they will face competition from Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Brito has been with Benfica for the last 10 years, joining their academy as an eight-year-old.

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