Costa secures Sisto Signature 

SLB had sent scouts to watch Sisto in action for his club FC Midtjylland several times over the last few weeks and have held productive talks about a move to Portugal.

The midfielder is being monitored by Porto, Juventus, Valencia and Werder Bremen, but Benfica believe they can win the race to sign him.

  
The Uganda-born ace has been described as one of the greatest talents of his generation and compared to Spurs star Eriksen and it has been reported in Danish media that Sisto fancies a new challenge which will spark a scramble for his signature but it seems that Benfica were quickest off the mark for the munched talked about attacking midfielder.
He was named Danish Superliga Player of the Year in 2014 and scored a hat-trick on his debut for the Under-21s.
It is rumoured that SLB have had a £4.8 million bid accepted by the Danish side with the Ugandan star accepting a 3 year deal, which rather reluctantly includes a release clause of £14.5 million. However it is yet to be determined how he settles into life in Portuguese football which will be seen as the next stepping stone in his career, just like the one that Eriksen took with Ajax a few years ago.  
Sisto will be used in a rotation role in his few months at the club and will look to place pressure on the likes of Nicolas Gaitan for a starting role come the start of the season for the Lisbon based club. 

Advertisements

Rodrigo and Andre Gomes Cross The Border 

According to Spanish radio station, Cadena COPE, Valencia are making a statement after a very slow start to the transfer season by bringing in both André Gomes and Rodrigo Moreno from Portuguese league champions, Benfica.

The duo left Benfica’s pre-season camp together and arrived in Valencia on Sunday evening, where they will undergo medicals and join the team for Tuesday’s training under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
The 20-year-old Gomes has spent his entire career with Benfica’s youth system and has played sparingly since joining the first team in 2012.
On the last day of this past winter transfer window, Benfica sold 100% of Gomes’ economic rights to a a third party investment firm, Meriton Capital Limited, for €15 million, plus 25% of a future transfer fee.

  

Meanwhile, Rodrigo Moreno, whose rights were also sold to Meriton Capital Limited, has been on the radar of many Spanish teams since leaving Real Madrid’s youth system and joining Benfica in 2010, where the 23-year-old striker has made a name for himself and has put himself into the Spanish national team picture.
Meriton Capital Limited is owned by Singaporean businessman, Peter Lim, who is also on the verge of purchasing, Valencia CF.

Goodbye Jesus! Goodbye my friend! 

SL Benfica have terminated the contract of manager Jorge Jesus after losing the UEFA Europa League Final.  
Club president Luis Felipe Vieria announced the decision in a press conference on Monday as the popular Portuguese paid the price for not securing a European trophy.

“I would like to inform you that the board has taken the decision to relieve Jorge Jesus of his post as SL Benfica coach,” Vieria  said.

“The affection that the players and the fans have for Jesus is the same as the affection I myself have for him.

“The problem is that with a club with our reputation and beliefs, simply winning only domestic trophies isn’t enough anymore . We need a coach that will aim and succeed in winning us big European games. I’d rather get to a Champions League Quarter Final than be a Europa League runner up. Why you may ask, this is an easy question to answer, when you are consistently finishing and reaching the Quarter and Semi finals of the biggest club competition, you begin to attract a calibre of players that are world class, the types of player such as Xavi, Kompany and Van Persie.”

“Whereas currently with the greatest respect to our group of players, we find it hard to retain our better players due to the lure of Champions League football year on year is something we can’t guarantee. ”

Besiktas boss Slavan Bilic is favourite (7/2) to take over from Jesus and Benfica confirmed the club hope to announce his successor next week.

Andalusian joy as Sevilla win the Europa League 

  
Sevilla FC kept their cool in the penalty shoot-out and SL Benfica appeared to lose theirs as the Andalusian outfit inscribed their name on the UEFA Europa League trophy for a record-equalling third time.

  
After a final short on chances, where there was always a body in the way, Beto continued that into the spot kicks as he dived the right way to keep out attempts from Óscar Cardozo and Rodrigo. Carlos Bacca, Stéphane Mbia and Coke all converted, leaving Kevin Gameiro to stroke in the winner. After so much talk of Benfica’s 52-year wait to add to their two European titles – half a century that has encompassed eight losing finals – Sevilla have now won three in nine seasons.

The contrasting emotions at full time were almost as stark as the difference between the first 45 minutes and everything that followed. For all but the closing seconds of a full-blooded first half defenders held sway as they snapped into tackles and stuck so tight to their quarry that their shirts – quadruple-chasing Benfica in red, and white for Sevilla – became a pink blur.

Miralem Sulejmani provided the most obvious initial threat, twice bursting through on the right and twice being sent sprawling. There was no third time: not long after, the winger limped off. Jorge Jesus, already contending with three suspensions, had another problem. He brought on a defender, André Almeida, pushing Maxi Pereira into midfield. So the arm-wrestle continued, neither back line conceding ground as they harried and tarried any opponent trespassing in the final third.

Slowly, though, gaps began appearing. Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno tested Jan Oblak and moments before half-time Maxi Pereira almost got his name on the scoresheet as he met Rúben Amorim’s lofted pass. Beto stood tall and made a brave block from point-blank range, and was an assured presence again moments later as he beat away Rodrigo’s effort.

The game was transformed. Three minutes into the second period Sevilla were caught upfield and a goal seemed Benfica’s for the taking, only for some committed last-ditch blocks from Nicolas Pareja and José Antonio Reyes to keep them out. Reyes was soon in more familiar territory, keeping Oblak busy in a frenetic flurry of end-to-end exchanges. From 45 minutes of no quarter there was suddenly almost no resistance.

Time and again, though, the considered final touch, the cool-blooded finish was missing. Even when an attacker did lock on their target a defender – usually wearing white as Sevilla were pegged further and further back – managed to get themselves in the way. So it continued into extra time, with heavy legs added into the equation and Bacca so nearly capitalised, surging clear and sending a rising effort just past the upright.

So, for only the third time in one-off finals, this competition went to penalties. Sevilla, of course, had been here before and the hero of their 2007 triumph over RCD Espanyol, Andrés Palop, was in Turin to watch Beto repeat the feat.