Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd handed significant boost in pursuit of €120m star with improved bid in the pipeline

Ben Stewart
Manchester United target, Benfica midfielder Joao Neves

Man Utd have been handed a boost

Manchester United have been handed a boost in pursuit of Benfica midfielder Joao Neves, despite having their opening offer turned down.

The Red Devils are keen to improve their midfield options ahead of next season and Neves has been identified as a player of interest.

The 19-year-old impressed while playing in Portugal last season as he racked up 55 appearances across all competitions. He predominately plays as a holding midfielder and that’s the key position Man Utd are looking to upgrade.

With Casemiro’s best days now behind him, a player like Neves would be a significant upgrade in this area of the pitch.

In the Europa League for Benfica, he averaged an impressive 3.7 tackles per game and also boasted a tidy 88% pass accuracy which isn’t to be sniffed at.

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Man Utd saw their opening offer of €60m (£51.1m) laughed off by Benfica, but the Red Devils have been handed a boost in their pursuit of the youngster.

It’s no secret that Neves has a €120m release clause in his current deal which runs until 2028. According to Record, Benfica have tried to get the teenager to sign a new contract, but they have been unsuccessful.

Neves has repeatedly rejected Benfica’s offer of a contract extension which could hand Man Utd a boost when trying to land a deal.

While his release clause currently sits at £105m, it’s thought that an offer of around £85m could get the ball rolling.

Man Utd preparing second bid

Man Utd will have been encouraged by the news that Neves has turned down an offer from Benfica and the Red Devils are thought to be preparing a new bid.

It’s believed that Man Utd could raise their offer to €75m (£63.9m) for the player, while also adding a series of add-ons that could take the overall fee to around €85m (£72.4m).

With the likes of Kobbie Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes looking like key players ahead of next season, Neves could be the ideal addition to balance out the midfielder.

When interviewing Portugal boss Roberto Martinez, Rio Ferdinand took the chance to ask about Neves and whether he’d fit in at Old Trafford.

“Joao Neves could clearly play for Manchester United. He is a very intelligent midfielder, who has easy access to the box, but tactically he is always well positioned,” Martinez told FIVE.

“He has a very specific profile, obviously he is very strong in one-vs-one, he can be as decisive as Mbappé in these situations. For me it is very clear, it is to give him the opportunity to make a difference in these one-on-one situations.

“He has the personality to be in a demanding club, such as AC Milan, which demands victories in every game. He has already shown that he can win titles when the team allows him to express on the field.”

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