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Report: Real Madrid priced out of Joao Felix deal

Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final : First Leg

LISBON, PORTUGAL - APRIL 11: Joao Felix of Benfica reacts during the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final First Leg match between Benfica and Eintracht Frankfurt at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on April 11, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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According to reports in Spain, Real Madrid is no longer interested in signing Benfica teenager Joao Felix after the asking price became too high.

Spanish publication Marca reports that Benfica insisted on allowing Felix to leave only on a deal that matched his $134 million release clause, something which Real Madrid did not wish to pursue. The report says Madrid was keen on a deal as high as $89 million, but broke off negotiations with the two sides too far apart. Marca says the plan was to make the purchase and sweeten the deal with a loan back to Benfica for another season, but apparently the Portuguese club wasn’t having it.

Madrid is the most influential financial power in Europe, but with a number of potentially high-priced deals on the table this summer, the club can only be stretched so far. They are already in deep on a deal for Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard for north of $100 million, plus heavy reported interest for Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and the need for defensive reinforcements as well.

Felix, a 19-year-old attacker with a skill set often compared to fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo, scored 15 league goals and assisted nine more in 26 appearances for Benfica, while tacking on three more goals in six Europa League matches.

In addition to Madrid, he has also been linked to Manchester City, which makes sense given the possibility of Leroy Sane’s departure and David Silva’s increased age. A host of other Premier League teams have also been linked, including Liverpool who reportedly made a bid back in January, although the Reds are not expected to be major players for high-priced players this summer. Chelsea could also be interested should the FIFA transfer ban be lifted, given Hazard’s departure, although USMNT star Christian Pulisic is hoping to fill that gap. Manchester United has been linked as well, as they have with just about every other available transfer target this summer.

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