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Man Utd set to target Benfica duo Joao Neves and Antonio Silva

João Neves and Antonio Silva

Manchester United are preparing a raid on Benfica for two of their academy graduates, João Neves and Antonio Silva, in 2024, as per TEAMTalk.

Premier League giants Manchester United are keen on strengthening their squad after a flat start to the 2023-24 season. The Red Devils are in fourth place in the league, but their performances have hardly been impressive.

Erik ten Hag has identified two of his squad’s major problems, and is prepared to move quickly in the January transfer window to correct the issues.

Benfica have produced some of the finest players in Europe in recent years, and two of them are now on the radar of Manchester United, as per reports cited by TEAMtalk.

Portugal international midfielder João Neves has impressed this season, having been made the de facto replacement for Enzo Fernandez following his club-record move to Chelsea in January.

The 19-year-old has been watched by Manchester United scouts in recent weeks, and is appreciated by the club as a potential replacement for the ageing Casemiro.

Neves has a release clause of around £104 million, and is contracted to the Portuguese champions until 2028. The youngster could sign a contract extension which will take his release clause to around £130 million, as per TEAMTalk.

Double swoop

Alongside Neves, the Red Devils are also interested in signing 20-year-old centre-back Antonio Silva from the Portuguese giants. They intend for the young Portugal international to be the replacement for Raphael Varane.

Varane has slowly fallen out of favour at Old Trafford, and may soon be on his way out of the club. Ten Hag is keen to bring in a younger player with potential and Silva has been identified as the ideal solution.

Silva signed a contract extension with his boyhood club earlier this season and has a release clause of £86.7 million, which will come into play next year, as per TEAMTalk.

Manchester United have not had much success in recent windows with their transfers, including in this past summer.

The choice of João Neves and Antonio Silva as their primary targets is borne out of an intention to switch their system in favour of targeting players who can contribute to the club’s future.

The Red Devils have a strong base but they need to bring in a few top quality additions and Neves and Silva would be excellent signings if they could lure them to Old Trafford. However, with a combined cost of around £190m, any potential double swoop would be expensive.

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