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Premier League trio 'make contact over move for 20-year-old centre-back'

Premier League trio 'make contact over move for 20-year-old centre-back'
© Reuters
Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have been in touch over a possible move for Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva, according to a report.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all reportedly been in touch over a possible move for Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva during this summer's transfer window.

The 20-year-old, who has been named in the Portugal squad for Euro 2024, is regarded as one of the best young defenders in European football.

Silva has already made 94 appearances for Benfica in all competitions, scoring seven times, and he has a contract with the Portuguese giants until the summer of 2027.

There is a €100m (£85.1m) release clause in his current deal, though, and a number of the biggest clubs in European football are said to be keeping a close eye on his development.

According to CaughtOffside, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man United have all been in touch to discuss a potential deal for the youngster in the upcoming transfer market.

Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva on May 21, 2023© Reuters

Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United 'all keen on Silva'

The report claims that Benfica have made it clear that Silva will not be allowed to leave unless his full release clause is met.

None of the English clubs in the hunt, at this stage, are believed to be prepared to part with that amount for Silva, though, so he could potentially be priced out of a summer switch.

There is also believed to be interest from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, but the defender is said to have set his sights on a switch to the Premier League.

Silva made 50 appearances for Benfica during the 2023-24 campaign, and he is now preparing to link up with the Portugal squad for this summer's European Championship.

Benfica's Antonio Silva pictured on October 25, 2022© Reuters

Man United are the English team most in need of a new centre-back

Arsenal have arguably the best centre-back pairing in the Premier League in the shape of Gabriel and William Saliba, so it is difficult to imagine Silva playing much next season if he moves to North London.

Liverpool are looking for a long-term replacement for Virgil van Dijk, and Joel Matip is leaving this summer, but the Reds still have quality options in the middle of their defence.

Man United, though, have already confirmed the departure of Raphael Varane at the end of June, while Jonny Evans is also likely to leave when his contract expires.

Victor Lindelof could also potentially be sold this summer, which would leave Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire as the only experienced options in the middle of the defence.

Man United will sign at least one centre-back in the upcoming market, but it is very difficult to imagine the Red Devils parting with Silva's release clause due to their financial situation, having missed out on Champions League football for the 2024-25 campaign.

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