Bernardo Silva has vowed to use his influence to help Manchester City sign a £105m-rated Manchester United target Erik ten Hag is ‘fully convinced’ by.
TEAMtalk revealed back in October that Man Utd had begun scouting Benfica and Portugal sensation, Joao Neves. The central midfielder only turned 19 in September, though is already a guaranteed starter for his club and has amassed three senior caps for his country.
Portuguese outlet Record later claimed Ten Hag is ‘fully convinced’ by the idea of bringing Neves to Old Trafford.
What’s more, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe intent on overseeing a squad ‘reset’ once his partial takeover has been finalised, signing Neves would usher in a brand new era. That could ring especially true if Ratcliffe succeeds in ousting the unfancied Casemiro.
United captain, Bruno Fernandes, certainly sounded on board with Neves joining the red half of Manchester when addressing the midfielder’s future last week.
“He’s a great player, I don’t know if he would have a place or not. It depends on the coach and his ideas. But he’s an excellent player and an excellent kid, very professional. He will have a bright future wherever he goes.
“I would love to have him by my side, because he has quality and will have a bright future. It depends on him. What I want most is the best for him.”
Fabrizio Romano revealed Benfica will not entertain offers for Neves in the upcoming January window.
However, a release clause worth €120m (£105m) can take the power out of Benfica’s hands – just as it did regarding Chelsea and Enzo Fernandez one year ago.
If United are patient and/or cannot afford such a lofty sum, they can wait until season’s end at which point Benfica may be willing to negotiate a more modest fee below the release clause.
Agent Silva on the case
But according to Man City ace Bernardo Silva, Neves should only be looking to the Etihad.
Speaking at a gala event in Lisbon on Monday night, Silva claimed he’ll “pull strings” to ensure Neves winds up at City and not United.
“I am very happy for João and other kids who are appearing in Benfica’s team and also in the national team,” said Silva (as quoted by The Metro)
“Joao Neves in the Premier League? I think that players with quality can play in any championship.
“I see him very focused on his club, which is the most important thing at the moment, a very young player but with a very promising future ahead of him.
“He arrived at the national team, settled in and integrated very well. He’s another one to help, if the coach thinks so, to help us help win the European Championship.
“For City instead of United? If I can, I will pull strings to Joao Neves to go to Man City. I’d like to see João joining City instead of Man Utd, of course.”