Chelsea see bid rejected for Liverpool defensive transfer target

Chelsea have seen an offer worth more than €60m turned down for Liverpool target Antonio Silva, according to a report.

20-year-old Silva has impressed for Benfica over the last season and a half, with the highly-rated centre back making 15 appearances in the Portuguese top flight in 2023/24.

Silva, who has seven senior caps for Portugal already, was named in the Primeira Liga's Team of the Year last season, while former Liverpool defender Abel Xavier has tipped him as a future captain of Benfica.

The former right back said of the youngster (via Record): "I foresee great continuity for Antonio Silva and a great future, but in the present it is undeniable what he is doing. Security, maturity, vision of the game, assertiveness, aggressiveness, and I believe that Antonio Silva, due to his leadership and not his age, could be the future team captain."

Silva has been tracked by a host of top clubs, with the Daily Mail recently listing the young centre back as on Liverpool's watchlist.

The Reds have used the Portuguese market on multiple occasions in recent years, notably signing Luis Diaz and Darwin Nuñez from Porto and Benfica respectively. Meanwhile, Sporting CP duo Goncalo Inacio and Ousmane Diomande are also said to be targets.

In the case of Silva, the Reds face competition from Chelsea.

According to A Bola (via Sport Witness), the Blues were interested in a move for the centre back during the January transfer window and tried to tempt Benfica with a €60m (£51.5m) offer – which was unsuccessful.

It is said that Benfica will instead hold out for €100m (£86m) – the contractual release clause – for the 20-year-old, whose deal in Lisbon runs until 2027.

Antonio Silva, ProShots

As well as Chelsea, Manchester United are also named as possible suitors by the report, while it is added that a summer deal is more likely.

Speaking in a press conference recently, Benfica manager Roger Schmidt insisted none of his star players – including Silva – would be leaving in January.

He said: "I talk to them [my players] every day, all of them. We're in the middle of the season, we have big goals with Benfica.

"Of course we're not going to let these players leave, we need them and they don't want to leave. There's no question about that."

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