Hibs 'leading the race' to land Portuguese defender on loan
Hibs are among the frontrunners to land Benfica defender Francisco Ferro on loan, as Lee Johnson looks to bring in reinforcements following injury to Rocky Bushiri and the departure of Ryan Porteous to Watford.
The 25-year-old, a right-sided centre-back, is currently on a season-long loan at Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands, but reports in his homeland suggests his parent club are open to cancelling that arrangement and loaning him to a different club for the remainder of the season.
A Bola reports that three MLS teams including Sporting Kansas City failed in efforts to entice the defender to the USA and while Panathinaikos of Greece are keen on the player, Hibs are leading the race for Ferro’s services.
He came through the youth ranks at hometown side Oliveirense before spells with CB Estarreja and AD Taboeira. He joined Benfica’s youth system in 2011 and was promoted to the first team in 2019 after 91 games for their B team.
Ferro scored four times in 67 games for Benfica and has experience in the Champions League and Europa League. He was capped by Portugal at every age grade from Under-17 to Under-21.
He is contracted to Benfica until the summer of 2024 and has also had spells with Valencia in Spain and Croatian side Hajduk Split. But he has played just nine times for Vitesse with his last appearance coming as a 75th-minute substitute in a mid-November 2-2 draw with Ajax.
Ferro hasn’t been in the squad for the last four Eredivisie games and reports in the Netherlands say the defender has most likely played his last game for Philip Cocu’s side.