Man Utd set to open talks for midfielder viewed as ‘priority’ for Ratcliffe era

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According to a rumour, Manchester United intends to begin talks with Benfica in the upcoming weeks in order to recruit Joao Neves.

The Daily Mirror names Neves as a “priority” target for Man Utd, whose objective will be to hire more cautiously under Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s direction. An important part of their new strategy will be to invest in guys like Neves who have room to grow.

The teenager seems to be a contender to take over as Casemiro’s long-term midfield replacement at Manchester United. The player’s transfer was not in accordance with Ratcliffe’s long-term plans. Neves, nevertheless, is currently a Benfica player.

However, according to the Mirror, Man Utd are getting ready to start negotiations with the Portuguese team soon.

Benfica, who regretfully lost another midfield player, Enzo Fernandez, to Chelsea midway through the season, has already stated that they will not be considering bids for Neves in January.

As of late, their manager Roger Schmidt stated, “We have big goals and we are halfway through the season.” We surely won’t allow any of these guys leave.

“There is no doubt—we need them, and nobody wants to leave.”

However, Man Utd wants to make an impact in the summer and is prepared to contact Benfica far in advance to begin setting up a deal for Neves.

Alvaro Fernandez is now scheduled to be loaned from Manchester United to Benfica with the option of a permanent transfer. The two clubs have already recently had negotiations to decide Fernandez’s future.

The next player to transfer between them may be Neves in the summer, but only if Man Utd can put together an adequate bid for a highly-rated player who has a €120m (£103.2m) release clause.

READ MORE: Serie A pair also look on while Man Utd and Brighton are interested in signing a Ligue 1 center-back with a €25 million departure clause.

Benfica refuse to give up on Neves
Neves signed a contract with Benfica in August, which was extended to 2028.

To date, he has played for them for his whole senior career, totaling 48 appearances, the majority of which have been this season.

Neves made his debut for Portugal in October, and he is currently a full international for the nation.

The 19-year-old’s future is bright, and it may eventually bring him to a new club outside of Portugal.

His next stop would be Manchester United, where he may meet up with fellow countryman Bruno Fernandes, who has already given Neves the go-ahead.

“He has top quality, and I would love to have him at United,” the captain of Manchester United said to Sport TV in November. It’s Joao’s decision, though.

He’s a fantastic player, but everything relies on the manager’s vision. Either at United or someplace else, he will have a bright future.

When the time comes for Neves to leave Benfica, Man Utd may have fierce competition for his signing, as Fernandes has hinted at and TEAMtalk has previously clarified.

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