Manchester United are convinced about signing Benfica midfielder Joao Neves following an extensive scouting mission on him this year, according to Record (page 7).
The 19-year-old made his breakthrough for the Primeira Liga giants last season and he has since established himself as a key player in the centre of the park.
Record claim that United have had ‘constant observations’ over his performances and most recently watched him in the Lisbon derby where he was ‘the star of the game’.
The Red Devils are now convinced that they should move for him, but may have to trigger the €100 million release clause in his contract with Benfica in no rush to sell.
The teenager has made huge strides over the last 12 months with Benfica and he is one of the most-sought after young midfielders in European football at the moment.
Neves can play in different midfield positions as well as on the right wing. However, he is predominantly a defensive midfielder. This season, he has a passing accuracy of 91 per cent.
He has also impressed defensively with a stunning 2.4 tackles and 7.3 duels won per game. The Portuguese has also completed 71 per cent of his dribbles this campaign.
The youngster has the potential to become a world-class midfielder in future. In our view, United should make a move to sign him at the earliest possibility to avoid rival competition.
A January deal is unlikely with the club’s Financial Fair Play situation, but it could change if Sir Jim Ratcliffe is prepared to make a sizeable investment after securing his minority stake at United.
Ratcliffe is expected to take control of the sporting operations at the club from the Glazers.