Manchester United set to table second improved bid for Benfica midfielder Joao Neves

Manchester United set to table second improved bid for Benfica midfielder Joao Neves
Manchester United set to table second improved bid for Benfica midfielder Joao Neves

Manchester United are reportedly poised to submit a second bid for Benfica wonderkid Joao Neves.

Neves is believed to be one of United’s top targets to reinforce the midfield department. It’s looking increasingly likely that Casemiro and Christian Eriksen will leave the club and if so, the two will need to be replaced.

There’s also the small matter of finding an ideal partner in the middle of the park for Kobbie Mainoo and this is where Neves comes in.

Despite his young age, Neves has already established himself as one of the finest midfielders in Portugal. In the 2023/24 season, he made 55 appearances for Benfica and that time, scored three goals and registered two assists.

Primarily a defensive-minded player by trade, Neves possesses stellar technical ability and vision which enables him to almost play the game at a totally different level to most on the pitch.

He excels at body positioning to execute passes to perfection as well as to volley the ball. He also boasts of amazing composure that lets him glide through games comfortably.

Despite being 5’9″, Neves is aggressive in duels. He has a low center of gravity that helps him maintain pressure on opponents and to hold them off in an effort to keep possession. He’s a high-volume passer and last term, ranked in the top two percent for passes attempted.

The 19-year-old is considered to be one of the hottest prospects European football currently has to offer. He has become a crucial cog in Roger Schmidt’s plans at Benfica and is now a part of Portugal’s Euro 2024 set-up having made six appearances for the national team since late last year.

It’s easy to see why Neves is in such high demand.

A recent report covered by The Peoples Person relayed that United lodged a €60 million bid for him, which was swiftly rejected by the Eagles.

Neves is of course protected by a £103million release clause, but this has done little to deter some elite outfits from pursuing him.

It was subsequently stated that Benfica do not intend to sell their star player for anything less than the value of his astronomic release clause.

According to Portuguese newspaper A Bola (via SportWitness), United are set to try again for Neves by making a second offer.

It’s understood that multiple clubs are pushing to secure his services and Benfica have already received two €60m bids for him. Presumably one is from United.

The Liga NOS giants want significantly more and may get their wish as two Premier League giants have already expressed their intention to pay more than €60m for him.

United are believed to be the most interested in him but Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are also keeping a close eye on the situation. A Bola note that while no clubs are likely to trigger Neves’ release clause, bids will still be incoming.

The Red Devils’ advantage could stem from the fact that Benfica urgently need to make a big sale to improve their financial shape. They had planned to part ways with defender Antonio Silva but he has not received the level of interest and attention that was anticipated. Neves is attracting the most overtures and this could ultimately force Benfica to negotiate a deal.

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