Benfica have confirmed they will sell winger Simao Sabrosa to Liverpool in the January transfer window, provided the European champions can match their asking price.

“It is not in our plans to let players leave but if it has to happen, it will. If we get an offer too good to turn down we can’t say no,” said Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira.

“For the amount of £12m, Simao would already have left Benfica.”

Vieira confirmed that Benfica would not block Sabrosa’s exit if the player wanted to leave and the club’s demands were met.

“Some day, Benfica will have to say farewell to Simao. We have a gentleman’s agreement,” he told Portuguese sports daily Record.

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has already confirmed Simao is their number one transfer target in January.

“After we failed to get him (Simao) we have continued to follow him and monitor his performances and progress,” said Parry last month.

“We still need a player like him and we appreciate his qualities.”

Subscribe to World Soccer – The essential football magazine