Luka Jovic leaving Eintracht Frankfurt for Real Madrid is a "real possibility, according to sporting director Fredi Bobic.

Jovic has been linked with LaLiga champions Barcelona, however, Spanish giants Madrid have reportedly emerged as favourites to sign the in-demand Eintracht star.

The 21-year-old Serbia striker has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season and his two-year loan from Benfica became permanent last week.

Amid the growing speculation over Jovic's future, Eintracht director Bobic told ZDF: "There's a real possibility that Jovic signs for Real Madrid.

"I hope and want him to stay here at Eintracht, but I'm also realistic and know that if a big club like Real Madrid want him then we haven't got a chance of keeping him."

Of Jovic's 25 goals, 17 of those have come in the Bundesliga as Eintracht sit fourth in the standings – the final Champions League qualifying spot.

Jovic's eight Europa League goals have also helped Eintracht reach the semi-finals, with Premier League side Chelsea awaiting in the last four.

Barcelona and Real Madrid target Luka Jovic is a "natural-born killer" who will undoubtedly become one of the best strikers in the world, according to Savo Milosevic.

Jovic has been linked with LaLiga giants Barca and Madrid after taking Europe by storm this season, scoring 25 goals in all competitions for Eintracht Frankfurt.

Only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (21) has scored more 2018-19 Bundesliga goals than Jovic (17), whose two-year loan from Portuguese giants Benfica became permanent last week.

Eintracht are reportedly set to cash in on Jovic amid interest from Barca and Madrid, and 102-time Serbia international Milosevic, who hails from the same city – Bijeljina – as his countryman, insisted the 21-year-old striker is destined for greatness.

"Luka is very, very, very special. His capacity for scoring goals is incredible," Milosevic – now head coach of Serbian side Partizan Belgrade – told Omnisport.

"From any position and with any part of the body, he simply senses the goal. He is a natural-born killer.

"You cannot train some of those things. You have them or not. He will be one of the best strikers in the world in a few years, I have no doubt about it.

"He is still a kid. He is showing some incredible things."

Milosevic, who spent time with Real Zaragoza, Espanyol, Celta Vigo and Osasuna during his successful playing career as a striker, added: "Both of the big clubs would be great for him and he would be great for Barca or Madrid.

"It would be a good solution for any of those two clubs."

 Luka Jović this season = 


#UEL | @eintracht_eng pic.twitter.com/fX7lWXuRXl

— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) April 18, 2019

Jovic's goals have helped Eintracht up to fourth in the Bundesliga – the final Champions League qualifying spot – as the German side prepare for a blockbuster Europa League semi-final against Chelsea.

Bruno Lage questioned the referee's decision to send him to the stands following the awarding of an offside goal that contributed to Benfica's Europa League exit on Thursday.

The match officials allowed a crucial Filip Kostic strike to stand in the 36th minute despite the Eintracht Frankfurt wing-back clearly being in an offside position when he bundled home the rebound from Mijat Gacinovic's initial shot.

Frankfurt went on to win 2-0 in front of their own fans, levelling the tie at 4-4 on aggregate and advancing to the semi-finals via the away goals rule.

The incident magnified UEFA's move not to employ VAR until the May 29 final in Baku and Benfica boss Lage felt his touchline behaviour towards Italian referee Daniele Orsato did not warrant a dismissal.

"In the Europa League we have a small monitor near the bench and when I looked at it, I easily realised the player was offside," Lage told reporters after the match.

"I took two or three steps towards the fourth official and made the sign for VAR, which was maybe a fault of mine. We are so used to having the video referee.

"That's all it was. I was not offensive. We see so many coaches do more.

"The referee will realise he made a mistake, but we also have to look at our game.

"During the first half, the pressure was not as strong as we wanted. We got better in the second half, we tried to go looking for the result, and unfortunately we failed.

"I believe that although we weren't as strong as in the first leg, we created enough opportunities to qualify."

Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic admitted to taking a measure of enjoyment in the Benfica staff's apparent obliviousness to the absence of VAR.

"It's great that there are some mistakes [left in football]," Bobic said.

"I had to smile a bit because the whole Benfica bench asked for VAR. They should have known that in the Europa League you also have to be a little bit lucky. That's what we got."

Eintracht head coach Adi Hutter added: "You can give the first goal offside, but luck is sometimes needed. We defended well and maybe had the necessary fortune one or two other times."

Eintracht Frankfurt benefitted from the absence of VAR in the Europa League as they eliminated Benfica via the away goals rule following a 2-0 home win on Thursday.

Filip Kostic's goal from an offside position was allowed to stand in the 36th minute and Sebastian Rode levelled the tie at 4-4 just over 20 minutes from the end to send the Bundesliga side through to the semi-finals.

Benfica had established a strong position with a 4-2 victory a week ago but were unable to muster a response after the linesman's mistake in the first half left their lead looking tenuous.

Substitute Eduardo Salvio hit the upright with a late chance to put the Portuguese outfit back into the box seat, but Frankfurt held firm to book a final-four meeting with Chelsea.

Benfica defended stoutly for much of the first half and only an officiating error eroded their two-goal advantage.

Replays showed wing-back Kostic to have been comfortably offside when he turned in the rebound from a Mijat Gacinovic shot that struck the base of the left post.

Bruno Lage's protestations resulted only in the Benfica head coach being sent to the stands before the break.

His team briefly displayed a greater sense of urgency after the interval as Haris Seferovic worked Kevin Trapp with a close-range header.

The hosts, though, always appeared a threat going forward and the crucial strike eventually came from an unlikely source, midfielder Rode side-footing into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the area.

The entire complexion of the contest almost swung back into Benfica's favour towards the death, but winger Salvio could only find the outside of the post from Alejandro Grimaldo's cross as Benfica fell narrowly short of advancing.

Eintracht Frankfurt have triggered their purchase option on Luka Jovic following a brilliant spell on loan from Benfica.

Jovic is enjoying a stunning season in the Bundesliga, having scored 17 goals in 27 matches so far, and Frankfurt have secured his future, tying him down to a four-year contract after meeting a reported €6million buy option.

Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic explained the club could not afford to miss this opportunity.

"The development of Luka with us is very pleasing," he told the club's website. "For us there was no question that we wanted to tie him firmly to the club. 

"He is a player with extraordinary skills. It is important to us that we have bound him to us."

The 21-year-old Serbia international had been highly sought after coming through the ranks at Red Star Belgrade, joining Benfica in 2016.

But in one-and-a-half seasons, Jovic made just two Primeira Liga appearances and struggled to make an impact for Benfica's reserve team, leading to some suggesting evaluations of his potential had been misplaced.

He joined Frankfurt on an initial two-year loan with an option to buy and made good strides in his first campaign, scoring eight top-flight goals in 22 appearances – only nine of which were from the start – and helped the club to DFB-Pokal glory.

This season Jovic has become a key player, playing 40 times across all competitions and hitting the net 25 times, with his most recent goal coming against his former parent club Benfica in the Europa League as the Portuguese side won 4-2 in their quarter-final first leg.

The two sides' next meeting on Thursday will see Jovic line up as a Frankfurt-owned player.

However, it has been widely speculated that Frankfurt could offload him once again at the end of the season, with the striker – now said to be worth in the region of €50m – reportedly interesting Barcelona.

Reported Manchester United and Real Madrid target Joao Felix became the youngest player in history to score a Europa League hat-trick with a stunning solo performance in the last eight. 

Benfica's teenage sensation Felix walked away with the match ball thanks to his treble in Thursday's 4-2 first-leg victory over 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals.

It was a memorable and ground-breaking night for the 19-year-old star, who converted a 21st-minute penalty to open the scoring in Lisbon.

Linked with Premier League giants United and LaLiga powerhouses Madrid, Felix then restored Benfica's lead with a powerful effort from outside the box after Luka Jovic had equalised for Frankfurt.

Felix completed his hat-trick nine minutes into the second half when he side-footed past Kevin Trapp – surpassing Portugal legend Eusebio as he became the youngest Benfica player and the youngest Portuguese footballer to score three goals in Europe.

The Portugal youth international has scored 10 goals in 20 Primeira Liga appearances for leaders Benfica in his first senior season, with his treble giving him 15 goals in all competitions.

 

Benfica boss Bruno Lage challenged Joao Felix to become more consistent and warned against treating the teenager like a "superhero" following his record-breaking Europa League hat-trick.

Teenage attacker Felix became the youngest player to score a treble in the competition's history on Thursday as he inspired the Primeira Liga leaders to a 4-2 victory over 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

The 19-year-old also tallied an assist for Ruben Dias' second-half header in a brilliant display that is sure to have alerted the heavyweight clubs that are believed to be tracking his development.

Manchester United are among the many sides reportedly interested, but Lage wants his emerging star to focus on getting better.

"Do not make him a superhero," Lage told Portuguese broadcaster Sport TV.

"Joao may no longer [seem] normal, but he is. He's a quiet kid. He goes out and has fun as if he was playing in a park.

"We have to give him peace of mind to grow. Then he will delight us.

"When he's even more consistent, he will be a fantastic player."

Benfica's cause was aided by Evan N'Dicka's dismissal in the 21st minute, the Frankfurt defender shown a straight red card for shoving Gedson Fernandes in the box.

Felix converted from the spot and impressed visiting coach Adi Hutter, who took confidence from the valuable away goals scored by Luka Jovic and Goncalo Paciencia.

"Joao Felix is ​​a very intelligent player, who finishes play and creates. Benfica are very lucky to have him," Hutter said in his post-match media conference.

"He's a rare talent. In the second leg we will have to pay attention to him, but Benfica are not just one player.

"We have to play a perfect match at home, but I believe we can overcome Benfica. I was curious to know what it would have been like if we played with 11 men until the end.

"The two-goal difference leaves everything open for the second leg. Let's see what the result is, in a week's time, in Frankfurt."

Joao Felix's show-stopping hat-trick led Benfica to a valuable 4-2 first-leg victory against a 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday.

The Portugal youth international is considered one of European football's brightest talents and he delivered on that reputation with a stunning display that overshadowed Luka Jovic's return to Estadio da Luz.

Serbia striker Jovic, who is in the second term of a two-season loan at Frankfurt from Benfica, got on the scoresheet against his parent club by cancelling out Felix's spot-kick opener, which came after Evan N'Dicka's dismissal for bundling over Gedson Fernandes in the box.

But the shimmering homegrown talent netted twice more either side of a Ruben Dias header to become the youngest player to hit a Europa League treble, although Goncalo Paciencia did later give the visitors a handy second away goal to take back to Frankfurt.

Felix first illustrated his sought-after ability in the 20th minute.

The rumoured Manchester United target sent Fernandes scampering into the box with a cute reverse pass and then, following N'Dicka's panicked push from behind, coolly converted the resultant penalty.

Jovic - tipped to sign for Adi Hutter's men on a permanent basis at season's end - responded 20 minutes later, Ante Rebic breaking into the box and selflessly squaring for him, but parity lasted less than three minutes.

Felix this time took it entirely upon himself to brilliantly fire into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards.

Frankfurt looked to have equalised again when Filip Kostic's tame shot squirmed through Odisseas Vlachodimos, only for the offside flag to go up against two players deemed to have occupied an active position.

Instead, they shipped two more in four second-half minutes.

Dias nodded in Benfica's third after Felix helped on a corner, before the teenager completed his treble by side-footing through Kevin Trapp's legs from Alex Grimaldo's cut-back.

That burst appeared to have dashed the Bundesliga's side hopes of advancing, but Paciencia headed in fellow substitute Jonathan de Guzman's corner 18 minutes from the end to inspire hope of a second-leg fightback in seven days' time.

Luka Jovic is not interested in joining Barcelona, says the in-demand striker's father.

Jovic has hit 24 goals in all competitions for Eintracht Frankfurt this season, the 21-year-old announcing himself as one of Europe's hottest prospects.

On loan in the Bundesliga from Benfica, Eintracht reportedly have the option to sign Jovic for €7million at the end of the season, a clause they are expected to trigger.

But Barcelona are said to be preparing a €50m bid for Jovic as they seek a long-term successor to Luis Suarez, offering Eintracht the chance to make a significant profit.

The father of the Serbia international, though, says a switch to LaLiga's leaders is not appealing at this stage due to fears over a lack of playing time.

"Luka has a lot of offers, one of them from Barcelona," Milan Jovic told Bild.

"But he's not interested at this time. He's not sure if he would get minutes there.

"He wants to continue in the Bundesliga and qualify for the Champions League with Eintracht.

"He was here a few days ago and said, 'Dad, I'm not worried about money. I want to play soccer.'"

Eintracht are fourth in the Bundesliga with a four-point cushion to Borussia Monchengladbach in the race for Champions League football.

Jovic has publicly said he wants to stay at Eintracht if they qualify but the player's father accepts the club may be tempted to cash in if they fall short.

"Luka does not want to be against harmony," Jovic senior added. "If the club says, 'We have to make money with you', then he does not want to be against the interests of the club."

Jovic's seven goals have fired Eintracht to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, where they face his parent club Benfica.

In the humble surrounds of Novi Sad almost five years ago, a 16-year-old Luka Jovic made his first strides as a professional footballer amid much hype.

The talk of Belgrade, it was not until May 28, 2014 that Red Star fans finally got a glimpse of Jovic in action as the teenage prodigy scored the equalising goal in a 3-3 draw away to Vojvodina at Karadjordje Stadium.

Brought on as a substitute in the 73rd minute, Jovic's impact was immediate, with the long-haired teenager running onto a lofted pass within three minutes of his introduction before rolling his shot beyond Srdjan Zakula.

Milos Ninkovic – a 28-time former Serbia international – played that ball to Jovic, who chested it down and broke Dejan Stankovic's record as Red Star's youngest goalscorer in a competitive match.

"He is such a nice guy. [At] 16 years old, to play for such a big club in Serbia is unbelievable," Ninkovic, who now plays for A-League side Sydney FC, told Omnisport as he reflected on Jovic's memorable bow.

"Back then when I watched him and talked to him, I said 'look, you're an unbelievable talent. You just need to work hard. If you do this, you'll probably have a big career'.

"As soon as he came into the first team and I saw him, I knew he was a special talent. If he worked hard and focused on just the pitch – nothing on the outside – he would have a big, big career."

Jovic made another 47 appearances – scoring 13 goals – before he was snapped up by Portuguese giants Benfica for a fee in the region of €7million in 2016.

But Jovic only played four senior games for Benfica, including a two-minute cameo against Bayern Munich in the 2015-16 Champions League quarter-finals, as he was then shipped to Eintracht Frankfurt on a two-year loan deal in 2017.

"I was surprised he didn't play there because Portugal normally like these type of players," Ninkovic said. "He is good on the ball, very good finisher and very quick. He looks very strong and maybe looks heavy, but he is very quick if you look at his goal against Inter [in the Europa League round of 16]. He is strong and quick. I was surprised that he didn't play there."

Jovic has not looked back since swapping Lisbon for Frankfurt, where the 21-year-old scored nine goals in his first season at the German club, winning the DFB-Pokal in the process.

This term, Jovic has netted 15 Bundesliga goals – a tally only bettered by Robert Lewandowski – and 22 in all competitions for Eintracht, making him one of the most coveted strikers in world football, as the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich queue up.

"I always remember during the 2010 World Cup. I spoke to Nemanja Vidic – probably the best defender of the past 20 years," Ninkovic added. "He told me one thing, you have to be lucky. You have to pick the right team, players and staff around you. He said to me, 'look, I came to Manchester United from Spartak Moscow [in 2006]. I was lucky that I had Rio Ferdinand around me and Alex Ferguson. That's why I became one of the best defenders in Europe'.

"He said, 'maybe if I went to Stoke City or some other club in Spain, probably he wouldn't have been such a good player as he was'. It's very true. You have to be lucky. Germany is a much stronger league than Portugal. He didn't play much there and now look at him. He was lucky – he found the right coach, club and players around him."

LaLiga champions Barcelona are reportedly the frontrunners to prise the Serbia sharpshooter – who opened his international account against Germany last week – to Camp Nou, where he has been touted as the next Luis Suarez by national team boss Mladen Krstajic.

"I think it's very important, he needs to find the right club, who play the type of football he wants. When you're at such a high level and you try to choose between Barca, Real Madrid and Man City – there's not much difference," ex-Dynamo Kiev midfielder Ninkovic, 34, continued.

"Every time I compare a Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho team. Mourinho's team at Manchester United – [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan, [Romelu] Lukaku and [Paul] Pogba, they didn't improve. They even played worse than they did at Borussia Dortmund or Everton.

"If you look at Guardiola, all players improve. [David and Bernardo] Silva, [Raheem] Sterling, Fernandinho, [Leroy] Sane, [Sergio] Aguero. I think Jovic needs to look at the coaching and who is good for him to improve. As I said, there's not much difference between [Zinedine] Zidane, Guardiola or [Ernesto] Valverde. I'm just so happy for him and hope he makes the right decision."

Eintracht Frankfurt are yet to receive an offer for striker Luka Jovic, according to a senior club official.

Barcelona are reportedly readying a €50million bid for the Serbia international, who scored his side's goal in the 1-1 friendly draw with Germany this week.

Manchester City have also been linked with Jovic, who has scored 15 goals in only 18 Bundesliga starts in 2018-19.

However, Frankfurt's supervisory board chairman Wolfgang Steubing says they have not yet received any offer for the prized 21-year-old.

"The numbers that are rampant across social media are not yet on our table," said Steubing at a panel discussion in Frankfurt.

"There is definitely no offer. But maybe that will happen."

Jovic is on loan at Frankfurt from Benfica, but the Bundesliga club have the option to sign the player outright for a reported €7m fee.

Barca are favourites to secure his signature as they seek a long-term successor to Luis Suarez.

Eintracht Frankfurt star Luka Jovic has the potential to play for LaLiga champions Barcelona, according to Serbia head coach Mladen Krstajic.

Barca have been linked with Bundesliga sensation Jovic, who has scored 15 league goals and 23 in all competitions for club and country this season.

Jovic netted his first international goal for Serbia, who drew 1-1 against Germany in Wolfsburg on Wednesday, and Krstajic praised the 21-year-old forward.

"I'm not his agent so I do not know that," Krstajic replied when asked about Barca's reported interest.

"But he certainly has the potential to play at such a club [Barcelona]."

Jovic opened the scoring in the international friendly, with the rumoured Manchester City and Chelsea target heading home from close range before half-time.

Germany substitute Leon Goretzka salvaged a draw with 21 minutes remaining as Serbia ended the match down to 10 men following Milan Pavkov's stoppage-time red card.

Krstajic, whose Serbia will face Portugal in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday, added: "Luka Jovic played really well today. He showed his potential. As for the game against Portugal, we still have to see.

"It does not matter if [Aleksandar] Mitrovic plays or not. Maybe we'll play there with two strikers.

"Portugal are the favourite in our group, but we are not scared of any opponents."

The draw for the Europa League quarter-finals is:

Arsenal v Napoli

Villarreal v Valencia

Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt

Slavia Prague v Chelsea


The first legs are due to take place on April 11, with the return matches a week later.

 

The draw for the semi-finals is:

Arsenal/Napoli v Villarreal/Valencia

Benfica/Eintracht Frankfurt v Slavia Prague/Chelsea


The first legs are due to take place on May 2, with the return matches a week later. The final of the competition takes place at the Olympic Stadium in Baku on May 29.

Arsenal face a tough test against Napoli while Chelsea will take on Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Unai Emery's Gunners overturned a first-leg deficit to progress at the expense of Rennes on Thursday but will now have to get past Serie A's second-placed side if they are to progress to the last four.

An all-Premier League final in Baku remains a possibility after Arsenal and Chelsea, who will be wary of a Slavia Prague team who knocked out Sevilla in the previous round, were kept apart in the semi-final draw.

In the other quarter-final ties, Villarreal will go up against familiar foes in LaLiga rivals Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt's reward for ending Inter's European campaign is a clash with Benfica.

Arsenal were initially set to host Napoli in the second leg at Emirates Stadium on April 18 but their fixtures have been switched to make sure they do not play at home on the same day as Chelsea, in accordance with UEFA Club Competitions Committee principles.

After dismissing Dynamo Kiev 8-0 on aggregate, the Blues will travel to Prague on April 11. Maurizio Sarri's side will have home advantage a week later for the return game, though in between they travel to Liverpool in Premier League action.

Relegation-threatened Villarreal are struggling domestically but will hope to upset domestic rivals Valencia, who progressed in dramatic circumstances on Thursday when Goncalo Guedes' injury-time equaliser away to Krasnodar secured a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

Frankfurt sealed their place in the quarters with a 1-0 victory at San Siro, Luka Jovic – who is on loan at the Bundesliga club from future opponents Benfica – grabbing the only goal in the first half.

 

Europa League quarter-final draw in full:

Arsenal v Napoli
Villarreal v Valencia
Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt
Slavia Prague v Chelsea

Luciano Spalletti believes that Inter lost any hope of salvaging their Europa League campaign as soon as Luka Jovic put Eintracht Frankfurt ahead in Thursday's clash at San Siro.

Jovic scored five minutes in to put Frankfurt 1-0 up on the night and in the tie, with Inter offering little of note in response as the Bundesliga side secured their place in the quarter-finals.

It would have been more for Frankfurt if not for Samir Handanovic's fine form, while Sebastien Haller also hit the bar and had a goal disallowed.

And Spalletti, whose side were without a recognised striker due to Lautaro Martinez's suspension and Mauro Icardi's continued absence, conceded Inter lacked the belief required to lodge a comeback.

"We lacked a bit of everything. We lost balance immediately and made some mistakes for the opener, then got irritable and lost even more balance," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"It became a very difficult game. If you don't clear your lines first, or make rough passes, everything becomes an open ball to challenge for. If you treat it with more quality, it's within your control.

"Even when moving the ball between spaces, we never created anything of note. The early goal just cranked up the tension and made us feel as if there was no chance. We lost it straight away.

"We had plenty of time to deal with the situation intelligently. Instead, we were immediately frenetic and chaotic, trying to force the ball through with individual moves rather than as a team."

Inter now face city rivals AC Milan in a crunch Serie A clash on Sunday, with both sides – along with Roma – battling for Champions League qualification.

Spalletti, however, has urged Inter's support to remain patient with their side despite seeing them fail in both the Champions League and Europa League this term.

"There are high expectations, we want to be a winning team straight away, but there's very little chance of that," he added.

"What we have to do is try to bring home some important results via balance, but we lost our balance immediately.

"We certainly need to do better than we did tonight. We need more confidence. We'll look back over this match and recognise we didn't read it the right way."

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