West Brom are likely to have been handed a major boost in their bid to re-sign Filip Krovinovic from Benfica after the Portuguese club crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Benfica lost 2-1 to Greek club PAOK in the third qualifying round of Europe’s top competition, meaning that they have dropped into the Europa League.
According to Mirror journalist Alex Richards, Benfica have spent a staggering £72million on transfers since the end of last season and due to dropping out of the Champions League, they need to sell players in order to “balance the books”.
Benfica crashed out the Champions League tonight. Spent £72m on transfers this summer, now facing up to a big hole in their budgets & need to sell to balance the books. I'm sure Jorge Mendes can help.
— Alex Richards (@AA_Richards) September 15, 2020
This will be music to the ears of West Brom, who have been in tough negotiations with Benfica since the end of last season when Krovinovic’s loan spell at The Hawthorns expired.
Portuguese newspaper Record recently reported that Benfica are demanding around £9million for the 25-year-old midfielder but the Baggies have not yet tabled a better offer than a loan-to-buy deal worth around £5.5million.
Krovinovic is not in Jorge Jesus’ plans at Estadio da Luz with Record adding that the Croatian playmaker is training away from the rest of his team-mates in Lisbon.
PAOK have done West Brom a massive favour by knocking Benfica out of the Champions League because it means they are now likely to soften their stance and potentially lower their asking price for a player they don’t want.
But the Greeks have also done themselves a favour too with The Athletic’s Steve Madeley reported last week that they are competing with Albion to sign Krovinovic.
Although PAOK can guarantee Krovinovic European football, we’re still very confident about being able to re-sign the midfielder.
Krovinovic played a key role in West Brom’s successful promotion bid last season and Slaven Bilic has spoken time and time again about his desire to re-sign him.
Speaking after the 3-0 defeat to Leicester on Sunday, Bilic told the Croatian media: “I insist we do everything to bring [Krovinovic] in.
“There is our will and his will, but also the will of Benfica, now that job just needs to be realised.”
After the huge development at Benfica on Tuesday night, we reckon the will of the Portuguese giants will have bent massively in West Brom’s favour.
In other West Brom news, Jermaine Jenas was confused by Bilic’s “strange” decision against Leicester.