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Premier league clubs in scramble for Benfica duo

| 10.07.2014

Premier League giants Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea are set for a summer scramble to land two teen sensations from Portuguese champions Benfica.

That is according to a report in The Express, which credits the four teams with an interest in Joao ‘the new Cristiano Ronaldo’ Filipe and goalkeeping team-mate Joao Virginia.

These days anyone that can dribble with pace and is aged under 18 is lazily dubbed the new Messi, new Maradona or new Ronaldo and Filipe is the latest teen to be given the honour/albatross round the neck.

The 15-year-old has picked up the comparison after displaying an eye for goal and an ability to play anywhere in attack with devastating effect at youth level.

His team-mate and fellow 15-year-old Virginia produced a string of top performances for the youth side last term and as such both players have been offered lucrative long-term deals by the Portuguese champions.

However, the report suggests that both boys are keen on plying their trade in the English top flight and this has sent scouts at the aforementioned clubs scrambling to put deals in place this summer.

United have a good history of negotiations with Portuguese clubs including the signings of the actual Ronaldo, the old ‘new Ronaldo’ (Nani) from Sporting Lisbon and Brazil midfielder Anderson from Porto.

They have purchased other players from the Portuguese league too but the less said about Bebe the better.

This history could put the Red Devils, who are 11/2 to win the Premier League this year, in pole position to sign the pair but they will face stiff competition from Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger.

Both men are looking to overhaul the youth systems at Chelsea and Arsenal respectively and could convince the pair to move to London as part of a new-look development side.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.