Journalist Pedro Almeida has confirmed that Nottingham Forest have made contact over signing Benfica’s centre-back Morato.

The 22-year-old has an £80 million release clause in his contract, but it is believed that the Portuguese side are willing to let the Brazilian leave for £25 million.

With only eight days to go until the closure of the summer transfer window, Steve Cooper is still targeting another central defender to try and bolster his defence.

The 22-year-old has been at Benfica since 2019 when he joined from Brazilian side Sao Paulo.

Throughout his four years in Portugal, he’s made 25 appearances for Benfica’s first-team, with his performances leading to Premier League side Fulham making an £18 million bid for the defender.

Despite the bid being rejected, Morato has clarified his desire to leave Benfica and play in England’s top flight.

Boavista v SL Benfica - Liga Portugal Betclic
Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

What would Morato bring to Nottingham Forest?

Morato is a very confident ball-playing central defender, who loves to play forward and build attacks from the back.

The Benfica number 5 has Champions League experience under his belt at Benfica, even scoring against Bayern Munich for his first goal for the club.

SL Benfica v Burnley FC - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

The Brazilian defender averages 66 passes per game, at 91% accuracy. Out of his 66 passes, 4.6 are progressive, which is defined as a pass that breaks the midfield line – a figure in the top 12% of all centre-backs in Europe.

With fellow Brazilians Felipe and Danilo currently plying their trade at the City Ground, Morato could well join his fellow countrymen at the club should the Reds match Benfica’s valuation.

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