Man Utd could repeat Bruno masterclass with D-Day move for “talented” £86m-valued ace

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Rumours that Manchester United may be planning to make additional acquisitions to bolster Erik ten Hag’s squad are rampant, and the Red Devils are determined to try and end the summer transfer window with a bang.

Following the injury to Luke Shaw, a short-term deal for a replacement left-back appears to be a priority. The former Ajax manager is also thought to be eyeing a new midfield player, amid widespread rumours that a move for Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat is in the works.

However, recent rumours have suggested that Benfica sensation Joao Neves has also caught the attention of the Old Trafford leadership, suggesting that the Moroccan international, who previously played under Ten Hag at FC Utrecht, may not be the only option that the Premier League giants are investigating.

What would Joao Neves be worth?

As The Sun reported on Wednesday, United are reportedly in “talks” with the Portuguese team about a potential transfer for the adolescent. Ten Hag and company are reportedly “very interested” in the player, who is 18 years old.

The article does, however, add that if the Red Devils want to complete a transfer, they may have to wait until next summer because the Premier League team appears determined to hold on to the promising prospect for at least another year.

If a deal is reached before the current transfer window closes, United might have to pay the player’s rumoured €100 million (£86 million) release clause, which appears to have been increased after Neves signed a new contract earlier this month.

Joao Neves, who is he?

It may seem unlikely to pay such a high price for a player who is still in his teens, but it is clear that the Theatre of Dreams has taken notice of the midfield wizard, as The Sun report notes that he has even been dubbed the next Bruno Fernandes as a sign of his talent.

The expectation is that Neves will be able to have the same influence that his colleague did after moving from Lisbon to Manchester in January 2020, as that £46.6 million signing has proven to be something of a masterclass for the team.

The 28-year-old joined from Sporting CP in the middle of the 2019–20 season and has since distinguished himself as a genuinely important member of the team, contributing to 120 goals in just 188 games across all competitions.

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City referred to Fernandes as a true “creative machine” who ended first in the Premier League last season for ‘big chances’ produced. This season, Fernandes has already contributed one goal and one assist in the league.

Although the 5 foot 9 ace has been praised as one of a group of “highly talented Benfica teenagers,” according to talent scout Jacek Kulig, such is his intriguing potential, trying to match the success of the United captain will be no easy achievement for the young Neves.

Despite the fact that the Portugal U21 international has just 24 senior matches to his name, Ten Hag will probably be eager to sign a player who might very well explode in the years to come after forcing his way into the Benfica first squad at such a young age.

The successful acquisition of Fernandes from his native country by United a few years ago may be repeated with the inclusion of Neves in the near future.

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