Touted as Casemiro’s perfect replacement, Manchester United have a bigger battle on their hands if they hope to land their transfer target.
In a bid to secure a formidable midfield presence for their future, English powerhouse, Manchester United have set their sights on a certain Benfica rising star, Joao Neves, eyed to be Casemiro‘s replacement.
However, this could be problematic for the premier league club as they are set to face another presence that could rival their interest.
Recent reports from Sport Witness revealed that scouts from both Arsenal and Liverpool were in attendance at a heated Lisbon derby on Sunday, closely observing Neves’ performance as Benfica faced Sporting, intensifying their interest in the 19-year-old midfielder.
However, Benfica has firmly shut the doors on any potential departure, with Portuguese outlet Record asserting the club’s intention to retain Neves until at least the culmination of the 2024/25 season.
Notably, any suitors eyeing the talented youngster will need to trigger his colossal €120 million (£104 million) release clause, as disclosed by the publication.
Despite Manchester United also expressing interest in acquiring Neves, recent revelations from Catalan publication Nacional hinted at the club’s dissatisfaction with Casemiro’s displays, regretting their acquisition of the Brazilian from Real Madrid.
The Red Devils are reportedly keen on securing Neves as his replacement, ready to table a substantial bid of £61 million to secure the promising midfielder’s signature.
Adding weight to the allure of João Neves, Luis Castro, who previously mentored the youngster during his formative years at Benfica, lauded his exceptional abilities and seamless adaptability to the demands of English football.
“He is not behind any of Benfica’s other midfielders,” Castro stated in an interview with O Jogo.
“On the contrary, he will be at a higher level. He is the most complete of all. He plays in the Champions League as if it were training or an exercise. His quality is visible to everyone, he does everything well.”
Castro further emphasized Neves’ multifaceted skill set, citing his exceptional defensive and offensive prowess, comprehensive game understanding, and astute decision-making, asserting his belief that the 19-year-old would flourish in the competitive environment of the Premier League.