Southampton’s hopes of signing Nuno Tavares this summer have been handed a boost after it was reported that Benfica are willing to sell the young defender for far less than his release clause amid interest from across Europe.
According to various Portuguese news outlets (via Hampshire Live), the Portuguese giants are willing to sell the 21-year-old for just €15m (£13m) this summer, despite an €88m (£75m) release clause in his contract.
The likes of Newcastle United, Brighton, Lazio and Napoli have also been credited with an interest in the Portuguese full-back, which suggests that Southampton will have to act quickly if they want to bring him to St Mary’s this summer.
The young defender has made just 41 appearances for Benfica in his senior career but has impressed in that time, contributing one goal and seven assists.
He has primarily featured as a left-back but can also play in left-midfield or right-back, which suggests that he could be a good back-up to Kyle Walker-Peters and Romain Perraud, who is reportedly close to signing from Stade Brest, in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side next season.
Although Tavares would make just 14 appearances in the Liga NOS last season, he clearly has a huge amount of potential, with his agent Cesar Boaventura singing his praises earlier this year, describing him as “one of the fastest players in the whole Portuguese league”, whilst he also claimed that “he can become one of the best in Europe”.
Therefore, the Portugal U’21 international could be an excellent signing for the future at St Mary’s and would arrive with more pedigree than the likes of Yan Valery and Jake Vokins, who emphasised last season that they are not ready to be the second choice options for Hasenhuttl at right-back and left-back respectively.
Although he would cost marginally more than the £10m or less Hasenhuttl suggested Southampton would target players for this summer, the fact that Benfica have lowered their asking price means this is an opportunity that is too good to turn down for Saints CEO Martin Semmens, so he should definitely look to bring him to St Mary’s ahead of next season.
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