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As the summer transfer window approaches, rumours surrounding a potential move for Benfica’s star player Joao Neves to Manchester United are intensifying. United is keen on bolstering their midfield this summer, and 19-year-old Neves has emerged as a consistent target over recent months. The young player, primarily a defensive midfielder, is one of Europe’s most promising talents and has piqued the interest of several top clubs.

United is likely to part ways with Casemiro this summer, necessitating a successor. Casemiro’s performance declined during the 2023/24 season, and United requires fresh talent in their midfield.


Despite his young age, Neves has played 75 matches for Benfica, including nine in the Champions League. He was a staple in the team this season, making 55 appearances across all competitions. According to Portuguese media outlet Record, United’s initial bid of £51 million for the young player was rejected. It’s understood that Neves’ release clause stands at £105 million, a figure United’s opening offer falls significantly short of.

Whether United will return with a second, higher offer remains uncertain. However, they are aware that the midfielder has not committed his future to Benfica, leaving the possibility of a move open. In a statement made in February, Neves, who is in the squad for the European Championship, said: “Staying at Benfica next year? I can’t promise anything for next season. My wish at the moment is to stay at Benfica and then we will see, you never know.”


Neves’ reluctance to commit to Benfica could work in United’s favour as they look to recruit younger players this summer. Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already expressed the need to alter their recruitment strategy.

Neves aligns with this vision but securing him will not come cheap. United must strike a balance between recruiting young talent and avoiding overpayment. Neves has shown all the signs of a player with immense potential – he has strong possession skills and a sharp understanding of the game.

United has been on the hunt for a long-term solution in their midfield for several years, and Neves could be the answer. However, Benfica’s demands could impact United’s chances of signing him, even if the midfielder is open to new challenges.

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