Renowned transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has shared intriguing insights into Manchester United’s potential pursuit of Benfica’s rising star, Joao Neves, suggesting a record-breaking transfer could be on the horizon.
At just 19, Neves has secured a regular spot in Benfica’s midfield, showcasing versatility in his role.
Despite his youth, he has earned three caps for the Portuguese national team, competing with established players like Joao Palhinha.
Reports from TEAMtalk in October revealed Manchester United’s interest in Neves, a sentiment later confirmed by Romano.
The Portuguese outlet Record hinted that United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, is strongly inclined towards adding Neves to the squad, potentially signaling a shift away from the aging Casemiro, whom Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly considering letting go amid plans for a squad reset.
Romano’s recent update indicates that Benfica has no intention of entertaining offers for Neves in January.
However, Neves’ contract carries a hefty €120 million release clause, the same amount that facilitated Enzo Fernandez’s move to Chelsea last winter.
While the clause could be triggered by Manchester United, Romano acknowledges the financial challenges, as a £105 million signing would surpass the club’s current record held by Paul Pogba (£89 million).
Potential lucrative sales to Saudi Arabia, including players like Raphael Varane and Casemiro, could generate the necessary funds.
Varane, in particular, has reportedly received interest from Saudi clubs, and the winter window might see significant changes, including the possible exits of Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial.
Considering Benfica’s reluctance to negotiate in January, a move for Neves may be postponed until the summer, giving Manchester United an opportunity to explore more favorable terms for the talented midfielder.