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Manchester United in three-way Premier League battle for Raphaël Varane replacement



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Manchester United are said to have held talks with Benfica’s Antonio Silva but expect competition for his signature from Liverpool and Arsenal.

Erik ten Hag‘s side has been plagued with over 60 injuries this season, with the defence being one of the areas worst hit; Casemiro has had to end the campaign as a makeshift defender, who has seen 15 different centre-back combinations in front of André Onana just in the Premier League.

With Raphaël Varane and Jonny Evans leaving the club at the end of their contracts in the summer and the futures of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf still uncertain, the backline could look sparse without reinforcement.

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Due to this, defensive signings have become a priority for Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS in their first transfer window as minority owners of United, and many top names have been linked with a move to Old Trafford.

One of the hottest prospects in Europe at the moment, Antonio Silva, is said to be on the list of potential defensive targets that the Red Devils are interested in. However, the 20-year-old has a steep price tag.

According to CaughtOffside, Benfica are only willing to listen to offers of €100 million (£85 million) for their latest wonder kid. However, it is not known if this fee will decrease once negotiations begin.

Silva is keen to play in the Premier League and alongside United has attracted many potential suitors including Liverpool and Arsenal, however, a key factor in his decision-making is that the young defender wants regular first team football.

This could favour Man United because of the club’s mass clear-out in the summer. This means that the Portuguese could have an almost guaranteed spot alongside Lisandro Martínez due to a lack of squad depth in that position.

Standing at 187cm tall, Silva is a strong, athletic, and bullish central defender who would significantly aid United’s struggling defence and may be the ideal partner for Martínez.

Although Silva is only 20 years old, the £85 million potentially spent on securing Silva’s talents could be seen as a long-term investment and astute business similar to many of The Red’s rivals.

It would be very entertaining to watch Martínez and Silva as a defensive partnership. Both share the mentality of being willing to die for the badge, something that has perhaps been missing at Old Trafford in previous years.