Real Betis turned down the advances of Premier League side Leicester City when they lodged a bid for Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho last summer.
Carvalho joined Betis from Portuguese side Sporting CP in the summer of 2018. The Portugal international came through Sporting’s academy and had long been linked with a move to the Premier League before eventually leaving Lisbon for La Liga.
The 28-year-old defensive midfielder started the season with an uncharacteristic hot streak in front of goal, netting twice in the opening three games of the campaign.
Last summer Leicester were heavily linked with Carvalho, with reports in Portugal going as far as declaring he ‘will sign’ for Brendan Rodgers’ outfit and others suggesting he had already agreed terms with the club. However, Betis turned down Leicester’s €20m bid according to the Spanish publication La Razon.
Betis paid an initial fee of €16m for Carvalho in 2018, agreeing to a deal which included €4m in add-ons. The La Liga side were not willing to merely break even on their acquisition of Carvalho, whose deal in Andalusia expires in 2023.
In the end Leicester didn’t add any midfield reinforcements in the previous window. Instead the Foxes opted to bolster their defence with Timothy Castagne from Atalanta and Wesley Fofana from Saint-Etienne, while Cengiz Under came in on loan from Roma to provide another option in attack.
Leicester may have missed out on Carvalho in the summer, but Benfica – fierce rivals of his former side Sporting – have registered an interest in the 6’2 midfield pivot recently, according to the same report.
Benfica, led by Carvalho’s former manager at Sporting Jorge Jesus, didn’t hide his interest, saying: “He worked for a few years under my orders and I know what his worth is. He is a great player and, as Benfica coach, I like great players.”