Benfica want Tottenham midfielder Gedson Fernandes to return to the Portuguese club, six months before his loan deal expires.
Tottenham signed Gedson last January on an 18-month loan with an option to buy for £42.76m (€50m) but he is yet to start a Premier League game for Spurs, who are thought to be open to allowing him to go back to Benfica.
The 21-year-old midfielder featured in Tottenham’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea on penalties earlier this season and has twice been named on the bench in the Premier League – against Newcastle and Saturday’s win over Leeds.
Despite once being considered one of Portugal’s brightest prospects, Gedson has struggled to make an impact and break into the first team at Spurs and has fallen behind Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Moussa Sissoko, Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks in the pecking order.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho previously hinted in November that the club would be willing to offload Gedson, who has been capped twice by Portugal but has made just 13 appearances for Spurs in total since his arrival.
He SportTV: «For me it is never a problem, but a solution. Having him in the squad, even if he is not called up and not playing, is an extremely comfortable situation.
«I will never be the one to push him or say that I don’t want him here. But I understand the situation of the kid and Benfica.
«If the club wants to end the relationship here, we will be here to collaborate, because we want the good of the player. Benfica has the power to decide and will be accepted by us.»
Mourinho was once again asked about Gedson in January, telling Sky Sports: «The situation is sad because he was out of the Europa League list.
«By being out of that list reduced immediately a chance of nine matches that we already played in the Europa League, where we had five substitutions where we rotated the players a lot and we can bring to the bench 12 players.
«To be out of these nine matches I believe that breaks confidence levels and even dynamics and routines and was very bad for him.
«If he remains at the club from January, I cannot answer you. I truly believe that we have to respect the player and Benfica. The player because he deserves all our respect and Benfica because as a friendly club deserves our respect.
«What they decide is fundamental and what they decide will prevail.»
Fernandes, who made 53 appearances in all competitions for Benfica – scoring three times – could have joined Chelsea, West Ham, AC Milan or Lyon, who all made offers last January, but he opted to join Spurs.
He had fallen out of the Benfica first team prior to his arrival in North London, as Filipe Dias, editor in chief of Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, previously explained to Sky Sports: «It [was] a mutual thing to part ways.
«His transition from the youth system to the main [Benfica] squad appeared to be smooth at first but that happened under the previous manager Rui Vitoria.
«We are talking about a player who has great passing ability, exquisite reading of the game, power, courage under pressure, but I think he is still a little bit immature when it comes to his decisions on the pitch.
«His main weakness, in my assessment, lies in his positioning. He is a central midfielder but he has not found his position specifically. Sometimes he plays in a more attacking role, while other times he plays more defensively but he has not stood his ground in one position only and I think he needs this badly.
«He also needs a manager who will be patient with him.»
The winter transfer window runs from January 2 to February 1. Follow the latest on Sky Sports News and with dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports website and app.