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Benfica attempting to beat Arsenal to ‘next Courtois’

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Benfica are on the trail of Anderlecht goalkeeper Mile Svilar, according to O Jogo.

The Portuguese publication reports that Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieira wants the 17 year old as a replacement for Ederson who left for Manchester City. Some are comparing the keeper to Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, such is the promise of the player, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all scouting him.

Svilar is currently Anderlecht’s third choice keeper and his contract at the Belgian champions expires next summer. The club’s sporting director Herman van Holsbeeck says Svilar will be staying until 2019 and they don’t want to sell the teenager.

O Jogo however report that Anderlecht’s option to extend Svilar’s contract by an extra year depends on the consent of the player. He could sign a pre-contract agreement with Benfica or another club as early as January before a free transfer next summer.

Svilar’s father, a former Yugoslavian international, told O Jogo that he is concerned about his son’s first team opportunities at Anderlecht, opening up the chances of a possible transfer:

“I would also do anything to keep him if I was a manager, because Mile has a lot of talent, but if I do not play, it’s better to go out there and develop my potential. I like Anderlecht very much, but I want the best for my son to have a fair chance to play.”

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