Reports claim Jorge Jesus has urged Benfica to sign Willian Arao
Willian Arao, a defensive midfielder who has been playing as a defender under Rogério Ceni’s supervision, is once again on Benfica’s radar, according to the Portuguese daily, O Jogo.
Flamengo’s 2019 Brazilian champion coach, Jorge Jesus, is willing to bring one of the red-black team’s key players to Benfica. The report claims that the veteran hopes to use his relationship with his former player to convince him to make a move.
Willian Arao, a 29-year-old Flamengo defensive/central defensive midfielder, has been referred to Benfica’s SAD following the difficulties in bringing Al Musrati, a Braga player, to Luz.
Despite admiring Al Musrati and his qualities, the Eagles’ coach wanted to focus on Arao, who had expressed interest in a possible move the previous season owing to the difficulty in recruiting him.
The Brazilian is competing in a competition and would arrive in Luz ready to immediately join the club, in other words, ready to compete for a Champions League spot.
Arao has the advantage of being active now, as he will be available to participate in the season opener in Portugal in August, and he has already worked with the coach. Flamengo still have him under contract until December 2023.
In July 2020, while speaking in an interview, Arão commented on the possibility of playing with Jorge Jesus at Benfica, since his former manager had tried to hire him last season. However, he maintained that his mind fully remained with current club Flamengo.
“The invitation would be received with great respect and joy. It’s a sign that you’re doing your job well to get the interest of other clubs. But, today, I have nothing, my mind is always 100% focused on Flamengo, and besides, I have a long contract and I’m very happy here. I would receive it (proposal) with respect, but today my mind is turned to Flamengo “ he said at the time.
It remains to be seen how this will play out but there is a strong possibility a move could materialize soon enough.