In recent years Portuguese side SL Benfica have become one of the top destinations when big teams go looking for talent in Europe. The club has seen the likes of Axel Witsel, David Luiz, Fabio Coentrao, Angel Di Maria, Nemanja Matic, Javi Garcia and many more all depart for bigger teams.
This summer is no different - with Premier League teams looking to tuck into the Benfica buffet. One area of the Benfica team particularly envied is the centre of midfield.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with their Argentine international midfielder Enzo Perez. The player himself even allured to the links earlier this month, distancing himself from a switch.
Meanwhile, there is also Andre Gomes. He has been incredible in 2014 and has been linked heavily with Liverpool and United - while Valencia are believed to be the hot favourites to snap him up.
But before selling wither of these players, Benfica must first find a replacement. But it looks like their number one target will not be on his way.
Benfica have been heavily linked with a move for AC Milan midfielder Bryan Cristante. The 19-year-old Italian-Canadian has been earmarked as the perfect option, for a fee in the region of should Benfica decide to part with either the Liverpool or United target.
“Cristante will absolutely remain at Milan. They keep on calling me from Portugal, but I continue to say he’s not for sale. We will not sell another great product of the Milan youth academy.”
Cristante was Benfica's first-choice central midfield option this summer - and it looks like he will not be on the way to Portugal this summer.
Meaning Benfica just got a little more reluctant to sell either the United or Liverpool target on their books.