Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd make move for €100m star who might’ve played last game for two-time European champions

Antonio Silva, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Man Utd

Man Utd are pursuing Portugal star Antonio Silva

Manchester United have made an approach to sign Antonio Silva, and a report has claimed that the 20-year-old may have already played in his last home game for Benfica.

Silva is one of the most coveted under-21 players in the world, having become a regular starter for both Benfica and the Portugal national team despite his tender age. The right-footed centre-back has won nine caps for Portugal to date and has played 50 games for Benfica this season, which includes appearances in both the Champions League and Europa League.

Silva looks set to follow in the footsteps of well-known stars such as Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and Joao Felix by breaking through at Benfica before making a name for himself at a major European club.

With Man Utd on the hunt for a quality replacement for Raphael Varane, Silva has understandably cropped up on their radar.

The youngster is excellent at playing out from the back, a trait which would delight Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag. But even if Ten Hag is sacked this summer, then Silva would be able to shine under the manager’s prospective replacement, whoever that may be.

Recent reports have tipped Man Utd part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe to complete a huge double raid on two-time European champions Benfica for Silva and his midfield team-mate Joao Neves.

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Reports in Portugal have now provided an update on Silva’s situation in particular. It is revealed that Ratcliffe and Man Utd have made their first move for the defender by contacting the player’s camp about a potential switch to Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe wants to know whether Silva would be open to taking part in his exciting INEOS project at Man Utd, should the Red Devils manage to forge a transfer agreement with Benfica.

Man Utd transfers: Antonio Silva contact made

While Ten Hag’s side have endured another disappointing season, it is very likely that Silva would say yes to joining, given the stature of the club and the big money he would be offered.

The report adds that it is very likely Silva has already played his last home game for Benfica, which was the 5-0 thrashing of Arouca on Sunday.

Silva will most probably feature in the trip to Rio Ave on Friday night, but that will not give him the chance to say goodbye to a majority of the club’s fans.

Given how good major Portuguese clubs are at negotiating, Man Utd will have to pay a hefty fee to bring Silva to England. Benfica have initially set his price tag at a huge €100million (£86m), though it remains to be seen whether Ratcliffe can drive that fee down.

Ratcliffe and Man Utd must act quickly to sign Silva, as European titans Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also on his trail.

Of course, Silva is not the only promising young centre-half Man Utd have been linked with, as they are also keeping tabs on Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite and Aaron Anselmino of Boca Juniors.

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