Joao Neves has told Manchester United what they want to hear amid transfer links

The summer transfer window opens in just over a week, and rumours are starting to circulate that Benfica star Joao Neves would join Manchester United.

Neves, 19, is a youngster that United has been continuously linked to over the past few months as they look to bolster their midfield options this summer. The young player is in high demand from teams since he is thought to be one of Europe’s most promising centre midfielders.

He is mostly a defensive midfielder, which is what United is expected to be searching for. Casemiro’s departure from the team is almost certain to occur this summer, thus they will need to find a replacement.

The Brazilian has to be replaced because he underperformed during the 2023–2024 season. New legs are needed by United at the engine room base.

He is only 19 years old, yet he has already made 75 appearances for Benfica, including nine Champions League games. With 55 appearances in all competitions this season, he was a constant member of the squad.

Portuguese publication Record reports that United’s initial proposal of £51 million for the young player was turned down. Given that Neves’ release clause is reportedly at £105 million, the Reds have come up well short.

Whether United will go back in with a second offer remains to be seen, but they already have the knowledge that the midfielder has refrained from committing his future to Benfica, leaving the door open for a move elsewhere.

Speaking back in February, the Portuguese, who has made the squad for the European Championship, said: “Staying at Benfica next year? I can’t promise anything for next season.

Neves’s refusal to completely rule out the possibility of leaving the Portuguese team may be welcome news to United.

This summer, they will need to bring in younger players, and Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already mentioned that they must alter their approach to hiring.

Although Neves is a player who matches that vision, his addition will not come cheap. United must find a careful balance between paying market value and acquiring young players.

On the other hand, Neves has shown all the signs of a player with a tonne of potential. He reads the game really well and is a reliable player.

United have been searching for a long-term answer at the base of their midfield for several years and Neves could be just the ticket. Benfica’s demands, however, could decide United’s chances of signing him, even if the midfielder would be open to a new challenge.

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