Benfica beat local rivals Sporting 2-1 yesterday in a thrilling encounter that was witnessed by a couple of Chelsea scouts.

But they weren’t there for the entertainment. According to Portuguese outlet O Jogo, the Blues scouts were there to watch three of the countries top talents in the shape of Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, and Ruben Dias.

Fernandes is a 24-year old centre midfielder with 11 senior Portuguese caps to his name. He’s played most of his career in the Italian Serie A league for Udinese and Sampdoria, but since shining in Portugal for Sporting, many of the big names are beginning to circle.

Dias is a tall central defender who plays for Benfica. At the age of just 21, he’s already made 6 appearances for his country at senior level, and is another young talent highly regarded as the future of Portuguese football at the back.

Finally, potentially one of the hottest young prospects in Europe, Joao Felix. The 18-year old attacker/winger has been touted as the next Cristiano Ronaldo, and he is also being watched by both Manchester clubs and PSG.

He’s broken through this season playing 12 times for Benfica scoring 6 goals along the way. Having been a regular for Portugal at youth level, he’s already on the brink of his first taste of senior international football.

Chelsea aren’t alone in their interest in all three players, who are being heavily scouted by a number of clubs around Europe.

Simon Phillips