Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes would like fellow compatriot and Portuguese wonderkid Joao Neves to join the Old Trafford side.
Neves, 19, plays for SLB Benfica and United were reportedly scouting him before the international break in Portugal. Neves and Bruno have been linking up together during the international break.
‘Agent Bruno’ has become a common term of endearment for the United star ever since he has arrived in Manchester. Speaking about the young midfielder, Fernandes was speaking to Sport TV about Neves:
"“I would love to have him at United, he has top quality!“But it’s Joao’s choice. He’s a great player but it depends on the manager’s ideas! He will have a great future, in United or somewhere else.”"
Benfica has a wonderful array of young talent coming through their system on a yearly basis and Neves is the latest name on top of wish-list’s this summer and possibly in the January transfer window. This season, the player has made 18 appearances for Benfica as they currently sit marginally on top of the Portuguese League ahead of Sporting, Bruno’s old club.
Portugal have enjoyed 2 wins during the current international break with wins over Liechtenstein and Iceland in European Champions Qualifying matches. The win against Iceland made it 10 wins out of 10 in their group, as Bruno Fernandes netted a opening goal, whilst former Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed an assist later on.
Red Devil Armada’s verdict:
Neves is a versatile midfielder who is capable of playing in defensive midfield, but also in a slightly more advanced role. With reports of a Casemiro exit looming in the summer, it would make sense for United to bring in a hungry young star in who can fill in the boots for years to come. Moreover, familiar faces in Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot would ease the settling in period.
The barriers that come to mind is that United’s budgeting restraints are currently unknown for the summer. They overspent last summer and those signings have not worked out very well, despite concerns over FFP regulations. Neves would cost a big fee given that his stocks will only rise further come the end of the season.
The other barrier is Champions League football. Neves is likely to attract interest from other suitors who would be able to offer a guarantee of Champions League football. United can offer none of that as they sit in a depressing state on all domestic and European fronts. However, fortunes can still change from now and the end of the season.