Norwich City joint minority shareholder Mark Attanasio has been linked with taking a 25pc stake in Benfica.

US-based sports business site, Sportico, claim the Milwaukee Brewers' owner, along with Crescent Capital business partner Jean-Marc Chapus, are in talks with a private shareholder at the Portuguese giants.

Although Portuguese sports newspaper, Record, later carried a report early on Saturday morning quoting a 'Benfica source' that denied any negotiations. 

Attanasio's Norfolk Holdings were formally cleared by the Football League in April to complete an allotment process with the Canaries which brought share parity with former joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones.

City director Attanasio, who joined the club's board in September 2022, after purchasing a 22pc in a private transaction with former director Michael Foulger and family, moved to increase his group's financial commitment last year, as part of a restructure of debt mapped out in the Championship club's last set of published account.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire estimated £96m was owed in those accounts, although that number excluded a player trading surplus in the summer of 2023 and a final parachute payment.

No figures are mentioned in terms of the potential scale of Attanasio's proposed involvement in Benfica, should talks progress to invest in the 38-time Portuguese champions, but Sportico value the Lisbon club at $675m. 

Sportico approached an Attanasio spokesperson and Benfica for comment but have yet to receive any reply.

Any proposed deal, and on-going discussions, are in regard to Benfica's football team, not any other sports such as basketball, volleyball and handball that compete under the same banner.

In December 2023, Attanasio was listed among a group of US investors, that included Liverpool owner John Henry, weighing up a commercial partnership with the US PGA Tour.

That came shortly after Attanasio had flown to England to attend the Canaries' latest annual shareholder meeting.

The US sports tycoon reaffirmed his commitment to the Carrow Road club when he spoke to shareholders and media after the formal proceedings.

As part of increasing the shareholding of Norfolk Holdings last year, Attanasio and his group made a commitment to vote in 'lock step' for a period upto three years, which commenced from January 2023, with Smith and Wynn Jones on shareholder matters.

Attanasio was a key part of the process that saw City sporting director Ben Knapper dismiss head coach David Wagner and appoint Johannes Hoff Thorup following the club's failed Championship play-off bid.

The American, who has a successful background in finance, also made it clear at November's annual meeting they would try to back Knapper's plans to overhaul the playing squad.

City announced this week a deal is in place to sign Levski Sofia defender Jose Cordoba, subject to approval once the transfer window opens in England on June 14.

A team of City executives were also scheduled to visit Milwaukee, after the conclusion of last season, as part of regular co-operation with Brewers' senior management. 

Attanasio, and his family, have been the principal owners of the Brewers since 2005, after purchasing the baseball club in a reported $223m deal.