Mile Svilar has agreed to join AS Roma as a free agent in the summer. According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the Serbian goalkeeper has a verbal agreement in place to swap Benfica for José Mourinho’s side when the transfer window opens, and will complete a medical with the club in the coming days.
Svilar came through the youth ranks at Belgian side Anderlecht before joining Benfica in August 2017. The 22-year-old started out with the Portuguese club’s B team, and has since gone on to make 23 appearances for the first-team.
Mile Svilar to Swap Benfica for AS Roma
Svilar to Compete With Rui Patricio
Current Roma boss José Mourinho has worked with a string of top-class goalkeepers throughout his managerial career, and will hope to see Svilar fulfil his potential once the youngster’s transfer from Benfica is finalised ahead of next season.
Upon taking over as Roma manager in 2021, Mourinho made Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Rui Patricio one of his first signings for the club, and Svilar will have the challenge of competing with the Portugal international for a place in the starting-eleven.
Patricio has over 100 caps for his country, and has made 38 appearances this season so far. However, Svilar is 12 years younger than his counterpart, and has been earmarked as having a stellar career ahead of him by Mourinho.
José Mourinho is a Long-Term Admirer of Svilar
Indeed, it was during his time as Manchester United manager that Mourinho first took notice of Svilar’s potential. The Red Devils were drawn in a Champions League group with Benfica in the 2017/18 campaign, and the 59-year-old was effusive in his praise for the then-teenage shot-stopper.
Svilar made history on the night by becoming the youngest goalkeeper in Champions League history, but carried a Marcus Rashford free kick over his goal-line to gift the Old Trafford club a 1-0 victory.
Following Svilar’s costly mistake, Mourinho had this to say: “He is a phenomenon; he is amazing. Only great goalkeepers suffer goals like this.
“Either Benfica has a top goalkeeper for many years, or the president should prepare a big suitcase [full of money]. Only top keepers concede these goals. Because bad keepers stay on their line; bad keepers don’t come out for crosses; bad keepers don’t try to analyse the game; bad keepers don’t use their space to give cover like he did in the first half a few times.
“I knew before the match – this keeper is phenomenal.”