Premier League giants tracking Benfica youth stars

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Joao Filipe and Joao Virginia have drawn interest from Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs, having delayed signing new contracts with Benfica.

Top football clubs are always searching for the next big thing, and are willing to prise highly rated players away from home, regardless of their age. If you look through the academies of the giants of European football, a host of young foreigners will be found - some barely in the teenage years living miles away from home.

And it appears as if it is happening again, with Joao Filipe and Joao Virginia attracting interest from the Premier League.

The teenagers are highly rated in the S. L. Benfica set-up, with Felipe, 15, having been compared to Balon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Barcelona made an offer for the young winger earlier in the season, but the youngster decided against a move to La Masia - the famous training complex set-up by Johan Cruijff.

However, with both players said to be keen on playing in the Premier League in the future, Sky Sports understands that a host of top flight giants have upped their interest in the youngsters. The two teenagers have postponed the singing of new long-term deals with As Aguias, and Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all ready to entice the pair over to England

Little is known of either player, except for their positions; 15-year old Filipe can play all along the front line, although he favours the left-wing, whilst Virginia is a goalkeeper. At the age of 14 he already stands at 6ft 1in, and so has the potential physical make-up to be a great stopper in the future.

Benfica are preparing to fight off any offers from English clubs with improved contract offers, because, with neither player contractually obliged to the Europa League runners-up, they could freely move country for next to nothing - with the buying club only responsible for supplying a negligible compensation fee.

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