Manchester United to send official proposal for Benfica wonderkid in next few days

SL Benfica v Moreirense FC - Liga Portugal Betclic
SL Benfica v Moreirense FC - Liga Portugal Betclic / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

According to Portuguese newspaper Record, Manchester United are planning to move forward with an official offer for Benfica star Joao Neves.

Joao Neves, 19, has shone brightly at Benfica, replacing Enzo Fernandez in the engine room following the latter’s departure to Chelsea in January 2023. He has been a mainstay in Roger Schmidt’s starting XI ever since and it seems inevitable that the teenager is going to be the latest big name to leave Benfica for a European giant.

Manchester United have been among the clubs interested in signing the Portuguese midfield dynamo as they seek a long-term replacement for Casemiro, who is likely to make the switch to the Saudi Pro League in the summer. As per Record, Casemiro is deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford after a torrid second season and won’t be a part of the INEOS project.

The INEOS, led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, have identified Neves as a priority target to rejuvenate the Manchester United midfield. Neves has a mammoth £105million clause but the Red Devils are planning to test Benfica’s resolve with an opening offer very soon, the report adds.

Despite Erik ten Hag’s future up in the air, the club’s new leaders don’t want to dillydally and build a competitive squad for next season. For their part, Benfica would like to keep hold of Neves for one more season, which may prove better for the player. However, Man United’s interest in the Portuguese wonderkid looks genuine having scouted him extensively this season.

Red Devil Armada’s verdict:

Monday’s 4-0 humiliation at Crystal Palace further demonstrated just how many loopholes there are in Erik ten Hag’s squad. Our midfield unit is certainly among the weakest links of the squad, with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen past their primes. Sofyan Amrabat has not been good enough and his loan deal from Fiorentina is unlikely to be turned permanent.

The INEOS have identified Joao Neves as a top target to bolster our midfield unit which has been overrun countless times this campaign. However, with our club in a position to not even qualify for Europe, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his team will need to pull out all the stops to lure Neves away from Benfica to Old Trafford.