Bruno Fernandes says ‘excellent’ Benfica star ready for Manchester United move


Bruno Fernandes has given Manchester United the green signal to sign Benfica midfielder Joao Neves in the summer.

Joao Neves, 19, is considered one of the top young talents in European football, and his age-defying performances for Benfica in the last 12-15 months have caught the attention of elite clubs. Manchester United are among the clubs interested in signing the Benfica whizkid, who plays with Bruno Fernandes for the Portugal national team.

The teenage midfield sensation has grown into a pivotal player for Benfica, consistently bringing his all-action style of play to the floor this season. Neves is showing great potential of blossoming into one of the best operators in his position, seamlessly replacing the departed Enzo Fernandez.

Bruno Fernandes, after helping Manchester United dump Liverpool out of the FA Cup quarter-finals at Old Trafford on Sunday, has headed off on international duty. Preparing to link up with his national teammates, the playmaker was quizzed on the Red Devils’ interest in Neves.

"I don’t know if United rumours are true, but I know he is ready for that big jump,” Fernandes told Sport TV (h/t The Standard).

"He is an excellent player, he’s with the national team… that’s also why the big clubs are after him."

While Fernandes refused to address Man United links precisely, he has at least confirmed that Neves is ready for a move to a big club.

Red Devil Armada’s verdict:

Despite growing speculation over Neves’ future, Benfica released an official statement in January that denied talks with Man United or any other club.

Neves’ meteoric rise to stardom has been one of the talking points of Benfica’s season, as Roger Schmidt’s side battle Sporting CP for the league title. Well known for being shrewd operators and tough negotiators in the transfer market, Benfica have protected Neves by inserting a €120m release clause in his contract.

Our skipper Bruno Fernandes has given a glowing admiration of the Benfica prodigy, apparently signalling the Man United owners to make a move for the player in the summer. If agent Portuguese Magnifico could have a word or two with Neves and convince him to push for a move, Man United should find negotiations with Benfica a tad easier.