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Arsenal have been told what they want to hear about Benfica wonderkid as Edu plots huge transfer

Antonio Silva of SL Benfica (L) and Joao Neves of SL Benfica (R) with the Portuguese Supertaca after  the match between SL Benfica and FC Porto for the Supertaca de Portugal at Estádio Municipal de Aveiro on August 9, 2023
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)


Arsenal have been given a major boost to their hopes of signing Antonio Silva. The 20-year-old defender continues to be heavily linked with a move to the Premier League following his impressive performances for Benfica this season.

Silva, who sees his contract expire in 2027, featured 30 times in the Portuguese top flight, helping the Eagles keep 15 clean sheets. While he couldn't quite lead Roger Schmidt's side to Primeira Liga glory, his eye-catching displays reportedly courted the interest of some top clubs.

According to CaughtOffside, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all made contact with Benfica regarding a potential deal for Silva. The report states that the Portuguese giants are willing to entertain offers in excess of €100m (£85m), which could prove to be a stumbling block for most clubs.

CaughtOffside adds that Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen on Silva, but it's believed that he prefers a move to England. While Benfica may demand an eye-watering fee for the youngster, they may be left with no choice but to cash in.

In an interview with the official club website, Rui Costa admitted that 'no Portuguese club can survive without sales' ahead of the summer transfer window. The Eagles' president said: "Fortunately, in the space where we are [Benfica Campus], we have created the best talent Portugal has seen in years.

"António [Silva] and João [Neves] are examples of this, and I'm sure there will be more to come. There's been a lot of talk about these two players, but there's nothing concrete because the market hasn't started to move yet.

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"No Portuguese club can survive without sales. What I'm trying to do is make the most of it financially with as few sales as possible. We will do everything we can not to breach financial fair play, and I will never put the club in that position."

Then, on Benfica's recruitment plans, Costa added: '"Benfica didn't take 100 million euros and throw it away. The assets are here and, as I said, the priority of my mandate is the sports side. I had the opportunity to say in January that Benfica has future capital gains.

"Part of that money that is being valued comes from the January market, where we anticipated signing players of the future on the international market, such as Marcos Leonardo, who will definitely make a name for himself.

"For those outside the club, we invested 100 million euros and didn't win, but that investment wasn't for months. It was directed towards club assets that we had to attack now. And many of them, which didn't produce immediate results, will be assets in the future."