Benfica give Man Utd new asking price for Joao Neves after responding to opening offer

Benfica have rejected an opening offer of €60million (£51m) from Manchester United for midfielder Joao Neves.

After a challenging second season in Manchester, Casemiro’s future at United is beginning to look increasingly doubtful. As a result, United is keen to add a new defensive midfielder this summer.

Neves, 19, has been the team’s top target for that role, and in the upcoming months, United is keen to bring him to Old Trafford.

According to the Record, United has now made a test approach of €60 million, which Benfica promptly turned down.

Neves’ contract contains a £105 million release clause—the same amount Chelsea was compelled to pay when they acquired Enzo Fernandez from the Portuguese powerhouses eighteen months prior.

Benfica president Rui Costa wants a price as near to that release clause as possible should Neves depart, although the report indicates that talks might begin at £85 million.

However, Chelsea and Liverpool are also interested in the midfield player, so it’s not just United. Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City are all competitive.

United, however, is the team with the most interest, even if they will need to raise their offer significantly to sign one of the brightest young players in Europe.

After Fernandez moved to Chelsea in January of last year, Neves took over in Benfica’s midfield and has been a fixture ever since.

He will hope to line up alongside Bruno Fernandes for Portugal at Euro 2024 this summer with the Manchester United captain convinced his young teammate can thrive in the Premier League.

‘I don’t know if United rumours are true, but I know he is ready for that big jump,’ said Fernandes in March.

‘He is an excellent player, he’s with the National team. That’s also why the big clubs are after him.’

In January, Benfica took the unusual step of releasing a statement to deny reports United had already held talks over a deal for the Portuguese midfielder.

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