Chelsea sent scouts to watch Portuguese trio Joao Felix, Ruben Dias and Bruno Fernandes in the Lisbon derby, according to reports.
Attacking midfielder Felix is in high demand after a breakout season, with Manchester United and Liverpool tracking the 19-year-old. Amidst a host of suitors, Benfica will demand £105million for Felix’s services.
Portuguese outlet O Jogo claim Chelsea are the latest side to weigh up a move for Felix, but also had eyes on defender Dias and Sporting Lisbon midfielder Fernandes.
Dias, 21, is being considered as a new centre-back to add to Maurizio Sarri’s squad, while Fernandes and Felix could be drafted in as a replacement for Eden Hazard.
Chelsea seem set to lose Hazard to Real Madrid at the end of the season as the Belgian declared he had already made his mind up on whether to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
Felix would certainly be a long-term asset for Chelsea, while Fernandes is still only 24 and scored in front of the Blues scouts.
‘I’m not scared by the numbers being mentioned, of the comparisons in the media, nor the interest of the biggest clubs on the planet,’ Felix told Tuttosport about the transfer speculation.
‘I’m flattered. I’m a professional and very lucky to be well advised. My father was a PE teacher, who was an athletics coach and knows our world very well.
‘Then I have the best agent in the world in Jorge Mendes. I am attracted by the big leagues like the Spanish, English, Italian and French.
‘All the best Portuguese players went to play in the most important foreign leagues and, of course, I would like to do it, too.’
Fernandes grabbed a consolation goal for Sporting in the 2-1 cup defeat to Benfica on Wednesday night, his 18th goal of the season.
Felix and Dias also played well in the game, with the former grabbing an assist in the victory. Chelsea are expected to spend big to replace Hazard, as the Blues anticipate banking upwards of £100m for the attacker.
Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic signed for Chelsea in January in a £58m deal, but will not arrive in London until next season.