The 18-year-old prodigy Joao Neves, who has been called “Bruno Fernandes 2.0,” is supposedly the subject of negotiations between Manchester United and Benfica.
In 2022-23, the Portugal U-21 midfielder had a breakout season at the Estadio da Luz, starting 20 games.
Neves reportedly wants to play in the Premier League and has held talks with United about a possible deal, as reported by The Sun.
If Benfica have their way, any deal involving Neves won’t happen for another year. If the current Portuguese champions are eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League, that could change.
According to reports, Chelsea has also made an offer to sign the youngster.
However, Benfica may be hesitant to do business with Chelsea after the Blues’ January 2018 pursuit of £107m midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
Having scored 65 goals in 188 games for United since joining the club in January 2020, Fernandes has been instrumental in the team’s transformation.
Neves, who would be significantly younger than Fernandes, would like to have the same kind of influence at Old Trafford as his predecessor did.
While Fernandes is more of an attacking midfielder, Neves is more of a defensive midfielder or central midfielder who excels at tackling and interceptions.
Casemiro looked fatigued in United’s first two Premier League games against Wolves and Tottenham, so that’s precisely what they need right now.
Before the transfer deadline on Friday night, Erik ten Hag will try to bring in another defensive midfielder.
Sofyan Amrabat of Fiorentina is another possibility, but the Italian club is not interested in a loan move since they demand a permanent cost. They are open to the idea of a loan with a buyout provision.
Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munich is another option, although he has already agreed to terms with Liverpool.