Manchester United are reportedly considering a move for an exciting Portuguese center-back, with the player’s current club valuing him at around £103 million.
Man United’s current position in the league table highlights their need for a fresh center-back. Erik ten Hag’s team has struggled defensively this season, conceding 12 goals in eight Premier League matches, resulting in a negative goal difference of -3.
Their defensive issues extend to the Champions League, where they allowed four goals against Bayern Munich and three goals against Galatasaray.
News of Man United preparing a substantial bid for a defender isn’t surprising, given the uncertainty surrounding Harry Maguire’s future. Maguire has publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with his playing time at Old Trafford, raising questions about his future at the club.
As part of their preparations for a potential Maguire departure, Man United is linked with Benfica’s young talent, Antonio Silva, according to reports from Portuguese newspaper Record.
Antonio Silva is an interesting prospect, and the Red Devils are also keeping an eye on Gonçalo Inácio, another promising center-back who plays for Sporting in Liga Portugal.
United’s interest in Silva isn’t solely based on his raw potential; it also considers his “immediate quality,” which he has demonstrated while playing for Benfica.
It appears that Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot, both Manchester United players and fellow compatriots of Silva, are trying to convince him to join them at the club, not just for the national team.
However, to secure Silva’s services, Man United may have to meet Benfica’s asking price, which is reportedly a club-record £103 million (€120 million).
Antonio Silva has already made 53 appearances for Benfica at the young age of 19 and has earned five senior caps for Portugal, following a successful stint with the youth teams.
He stands at 6 feet 2 inches and models his game after the likes of Ruben Dias. Silva is also known for his ability to contribute goals from the center-back position, having scored six times in 56 appearances.
With the future of Maguire uncertain and other United defenders aging, Silva could be a long-term solution to bolster their defense, potentially forming a partnership with Lisandro Martinez.
Martinez tends to venture forward with the ball, while Silva excels in tackling and showcases composure on the ball, as indicated by his impressive 94% pass accuracy.
While it remains to be seen whether Ten Hag will break the bank for the 19-year-old, Manchester United must start planning for the future and consider adding new faces to their squad.