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Chelsea join Man Utd in race to sign Joao Neves

According to TEAMtalk, Chelsea have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Benfica wonderkid Joao Neves.

Neves is one of the best young holding midfielders in the Primeira Liga and he has been linked with Man United on many occasions. TEAMtalk claim that the club have been tracking him for the best part of one year, but they are likely to face strong competition to sign him next year.

The youngster is also on the radar of several Saudi Pro League clubs, who had a huge spending spree during last summer’s transfer window. Premier League rivals Chelsea are also interested in the Portuguese wonderkid, but their focus for January remains on defensive and striker targets.

Big move

Neves has made a huge impression with a short space of time. He made his first-team breakthrough with Benfica last season and has now become a regular starter for the Portuguese heavyweights. The teenager has the ability to play from the no.6 and no.8 roles, but he is more suited in the former of those positions.

United presently have Casemiro, Sofyan Amrabat (currently on loan) and Scott McTominay as their holding midfield choices under manager Erik ten Hag. If they are to invest on Neves, one of them may have to leave. This could happen next summer rather than in January due to the lack of sufficient transfer budget.

Neves currently has a buy-out clause of around £103 million in his contract, but it was recently reported that he could be signed for £61 million next summer. Chelsea are mentioned as suitors, but may not be a threat for United as they have Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ogochukwu in their squad.

The main problem for United could arise from the Saudi Pro League. Celta Vigo sensation Gabri Veiga was lured by Saudi giants Al-Ahli during the recent transfer window and there could be more high-profile interest from the Middle East nation in emerging stars from Europe in the coming years.

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