Man Utd at the ‘head of the pack’ to sign Joao Neves

Manchester United are leading the race to sign Benfica midfielder Joao Neves this summer, according to Portuguese publication Record.

The Red Devils will likely make multiple changes to the first-team squad and could consider signing a new defensive midfielder.

Casemiro has looked a shadow of himself this season. The United hierarchy may want a marquee addition to add competition for places.

Neves has been linked with the club in recent weeks and Record (page 14) claim the Red Devils are at the ‘head of the pack’ to sign Neves.

Benfica are looking at the positions of Neves, Florentino Luis and Orkun Kokcu. At least one of the trio could head for the exit door.

The Primeira Liga outfit are hopeful of keeping hold of Neves for another year by improving his €18,000 per week salary with a new contract.

United need to make huge outlay for Neves

The 19-year-old has developed into one of the best young defensive midfielders in European football.

Neves completed 54 passes per game with an accuracy of 90 percent this season. He also won six duels and two tackles and made 6.4 ball recoveries.

Neves has played just two seasons at the senior level, but he has already shown plenty of maturity.

Bruno Fernandes has described the youngster as an ‘excellent player‘. He would be a fantastic acquisition for United, but the big question is whether they can afford to purchase him.

The Portuguese contract includes a release clause worth €120 million. Benfica could be willing to accept a long-term payment plan but may not offer a significant discount on the price.

A move for the wonderkid could depend on player sales. United could have a low pre-sales budget this summer after missing out on next season’s Champions League revenue.

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