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Man United handed major transfer boost for target club legend warned them against



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Rumoured Manchester United transfer target Joao Neves is “increasingly likely” to leave Benfica this summer, according to reports from Portugal.

Manchester United are looking to bring in a new midfielder this summer, with a summer exit for former Real Madrid man Casemiro looking increasingly likely due to poor performances at Old Trafford.

INEOS, who now control all sporting activities surrounding Erik ten Hag, have been scouring the market for potential replacements. Multiple recent reports have seen the club seemingly land on Benfica’s Joao Neves as an option.

Read More: Gary Neville says Erik ten Hag’s Man Utd future is “largely dependant” on one key factor

Neves likely to leave

According to information from Portuguese outlet Report, who explains that Neves is “one of the most coveted players” at his club and “one of the best-rated youngsters” across Europe, Neves’ departure this summer is “increasingly likely”.

This is good news for United, as it seems as if Benfica are preparing for a summer sale and will not try and hold on to the player – but it is also mentioned that Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City are also interested.

United are thought to be the club most interested in bringing him to the Premier League. They have tracked Neves even before his breakout into the Benfica first team and international debut this season.

A big stumbling block will be the 19-year-old’s price. His current contract has a release clause of around £100 million, which may be too much money to pay in one go.

The report explains that there’s “probably the chance” that INEOS will instead be able to agree a fee where they can spread the initial cost through a series of payments over multiple seasons, as well as make up some of the £100 million through clauses and bonuses.

Andy Cole’s warning

Former striker and club legend Andy Cole, when questioned on the potential signing of Neves, warned United against paying so much money for a single player.

“If the player you want has a price tag of £105 million or £110 million, and you really want that individual, then you’re going to have to pay it,” he said when BetFred asked about United’s interest in the teenager.

“If you believe that they’re going to improve your team, then you’ve got to pay whatever’s asked. Transfer fees nowadays are absolutely unbelievable, but if you want an individual, you’re going to have to pay just that.

“Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford, there’s been a Manchester United tax, and Manchester United have spent a hell of a lot of money on a lot of players.

“You turn around and say to yourself, ‘wow, they’ve paid over the odds for him’, and by the time you realise, a year or two later, they’ve sold that individual for less than half of what they paid for them in the first place.

“Manchester United aren’t in the position to do that anymore with FFP, so whoever they bring in now has to be bang on.”