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Liverpool and Arsenal target Gelson Martins is not heading to Benfica, according to his agent.

Portugal winger Martins is believed to be one of a handful of Sporting Lisbon players who have demanded to have their contracts ripped up after a gang of masked fans attacked players and staff in May at the club’s training base.

Both Liverpool and Arsenal have since been linked with the 23-year-old with A Bolabelieving both clubs had been asked to be kept informed of developments.

However, reports of a shock move to Portuguese rivals Benfica emerged last week, but that talk has been rebuffed by Martins’ agent.

“Being the agent of Gelson Martins, I have as a top priority his tranquility, and maximum concentration to be able to do what he knows, professional football,” Ulisses Santos wrote on Facebook on Friday.

“For this reason, and considering the sports media agenda has been very busy around his future, I come to inform you that Martins’ next club will not be SL Benfica.”

Martins, who had a €60million exit clause in his contract before he applied to have his contract was ripped up, is likely to go for much less than that figure and he could yet become a free transfer which would spark an almighty scramble.

The 23-year-old was one of Sporting’s most influential players during the 2017/18 campaign, scoring 13 goals and providing 13 assists in 52 appearances.

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