Arsenal and Liverpool both sent top scouts to watch Benfica's attacking midfield talent Anderson Talisca last weekend and are now ready to rival Chelsea for a talented star who has enjoyed burst onto the European scene almost overnight.
Talisca chose Benfica over Chelsea last summer despite serious interest from Blues boss Jose Mourinho, with a disagreement over spending a season on loan with feeder club Vitesse Arnhem the primary reason for that surprise snub.
The 20-year-old has justified that call with a tremendous start to the season, with five goals in six Benfica appearances enough for The Mirror to report that Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers are both ready to fight Chelsea and Manchester United to sign a Brazilian starlet with an £18 million release clause.
Talisca's incredible start has been a surprise
Benfica certainly believed they'd pulled off quite a coup to sign Talisca from Brazilian side Bahia for just £3m in July, but even they must be taken aback by a swift transition to life in Lisbon.
The attacking midfielder smashed home a hat-trick in his only his fourth game for Benfica and followed that up with a brace in last weekend's 3-2 win over Estoril, with the pick of that pair on show in the video just above.
Talisca is primarily a number 10 but clearly has the finishing ability to play in a more advanced position if asked, after making the best start scoring start to a new season of any foreign footballer in the history of the Portuguese top flight.
Arsenal and Liverpool scouts have both watched Talisca at least four times each already this season and will like what they've seen, thanks to performances which have no doubt improved Benfica's chances of making a 500% profit on the Brazil under-20 international in just one transfer window.
Lofty release clause could scupper deal for now
Benfica have built a reputation of selling talent on at a premium price and their new goal machine won't be allowed to leave for anything less than a whopping £18m, as per the terms of a contract which runs until 2019.
Chelsea would surely baulk at that price when you consider they nearly signed him for a fraction of that fee before the World Cup, although the January return of Nemanja Matic does show the Blues are on favourable terms with Benfica.
Reds boss Rodgers could claim a similar stance after signing Lazar Markovic from the Portuguese champions during the close season, but with a full Brazil call-up on the cards it looks like four Premier League giants will have to play a waiting game to win this particular transfer tussle.
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