Bruno Fernandes has declared he would “love to have” Portugal teammate Joao Neves “by my side” at Manchester United as he’s set for a “bright future”.
United have gone on the road to watch Neves on multiple occasions. Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano confirmed that their scouts were watching from the stands as the 19-year-old scored Benfica’s equaliser in a 2-1 win over Sporting recently.
The midfielder will certainly have made an impression on the Red Devils.
However, he’s also been scouted by Premier League rivals Arsenal and Liverpool.
That Neves is both capable as a holding-midfielder and a more advanced player will be an attractive asset for the Reds, after Glen Johnson told them they “need to bring in a top player” to shield the defence.
While Fluminense man Andre was top of that list, Romano has confirmed they’re not actively pursuing him, so Neves could have taken his place at the top of theirt shortlist.
United may have an advantage over their rivals in the form of star man Fernandes, though.
He’s been around Neves in the Portugal squad of late, with the youngster making a couple of appearances off the bench in his country’s last two games.
Fernandes has given ample support to the midfielder, who he’s eager to play alongside at United if possible.
Fernandes would ‘love to have’ Neves at United
“It has to be the Manchester United coach who says whether he has a place in the team or not,” Fernandes said in a press conference.
“He’s a great player, I don’t know if he would have a place or not. It depends on the coach and his ideas. But he’s an excellent player and an excellent kid, very professional. He will have a bright future wherever he goes.
“I would love to have him by my side, because he has quality and will have a bright future. It depends on him. What I want most is the best for him.”
Whether or not United will act on their interest, that they’ve scouted Neves is a good sign, and that he was impressive when that happened will also help his case.
The reference from a player like Fernandes might well help United to make their decision, given he’s one of their best players.
What’s more, given he wants to play alongside Neves, the pair could form a good partnership in midfield.
Casemiro’s age and injury status are not helping United at the moment, and Neves could be the perfect player to replace him at some point.
If he was to be signed soon, he could learn from the former Real Madrid man – who’s won countless trophies – and that might well shape him into a top midfielder.