Real Madrid set sights on Benfica star

Real Madrid reportedly view Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva as a summer transfer backup to RB Leipzig's Josko Gvardiol.

Reigning La Liga and Champions League winners Real Madrid are reportedly closely monitoring the progress of 19-year-old Portuguese wonderkid Antonio Silva, and have identified the Benfica defender as a summer transfer target if they fail to land RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, according to Record.

Silva had not played a single competitive match for the Portuguese giants prior to the start of this season, and was only regarded as a future prospect.

Nonetheless, the 19-year-old has had a spectacular rise at Estadio da Luz, featuring in 30 games across all competitions in 2022-23.

The defender has starred at the back for Benfica, who sit at the top of the standings and are in the box seat to secure a place in the quarter-finals of UEFA Champions League.

Silva’s rise to prominence was such that he was called up to Portugal’s World Cup squad, where he played the entire 90 minutes against South Korea in the group stage.

Regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe, Silva has all the making of a world class defender in the future, and is attracting attention from elite clubs all across the continent, with Real Madrid considering a move.

Real Madrid are looking for a new centre-back in the upcoming summer transfer window, with long-serving versatile defender Nacho set to leave as a free agent in the off-season.

Meanwhile, David Alaba has struggled with fitness issues, and the Merengues will almost certainly need to invest in a centre-back when the transfer market re-opens.

RB Leipzig central defensive powerhouse and World Cup bronze medalist Josko Gvardiol has emerged as the priority target, but Antonio Silva has also piqued their interest.

While other top clubs, including Liverpool and Bayern Munich, are also interested in Silva, it is unlikely that any of these teams will trigger his €100 million release clause inserted in his new contract with Benfica in September last year.

It remains to be seen if Los Blancos will launch an offensive for the Portuguese defensive sensation in the summer transfer window.

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