HomeFeatured ArticlesReport: Liverpool Leading Man United in the Race to Sign £101m Star

Report: Liverpool Leading Man United in the Race to Sign £101m Star

Manchester United’s Transfer Battle: Joao Neves in the Spotlight

Manchester United find themselves in a challenging position as they vie for the signature of Benfica’s teenage sensation, Joao Neves. As competition heats up, Liverpool’s involvement adds a layer of complexity to United’s pursuit. This blog delves into the latest updates, key stats, a player comparison, and the likelihood of Neves making a move to the Premier League.

What’s Been Said

TEAMtalk reports that Manchester United are increasingly at risk of missing out on Joao Neves, with Liverpool emerging as a serious contender. According to the article, “United’s hopes of a deal have suffered a new setback after the teenage star was also linked with a move to Liverpool.” Liverpool’s strong relationship with Benfica, established during the transfer of Darwin Nunez, and their ability to offer Champions League football, put them in the driver’s seat. This development puts United under pressure to act swiftly if they are to secure the talented midfielder.

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Looking at the Key Stats

Joao Neves has quickly become a standout player for Benfica, showcasing his skills and attracting interest from top European clubs. At 19 years old, Neves has made 55 appearances across all competitions in the 2023-24 season, including Liga Portugal, UEFA Champions League, and domestic cups. His stats for the season include 3 goals and 2 assists, highlighting his potential in both defensive and offensive play.

Neves’ defensive midfield position allows him to control the game’s tempo, and his performances have not gone unnoticed. With 9 international caps for Portugal and a market value of €55 million, according to Transfermarkt, Neves is considered one of the brightest young talents in football.

Drawing Comparisons

When comparing Joao Neves to an existing Premier League player, Bruno Guimarães of Newcastle United comes to mind. Both players operate in similar roles, though Guimarães, at 26, brings more physicality and experience to his game. In the 2023-24 season, Neves attempted 2,076 passes with an impressive 88.5% pass completion rate.

 

Guimarães, on the other hand, attempted 2,313 passes with a 83.9% completion rate. Neves did ok in challenge success, with a 46.0% tackle success rate compared to Guimarães’ 51.9%. While Guimarães is more seasoned, Neves’ stats demonstrate his potential to thrive in the Premier League.

Likelihood and Fee

The financial aspect of Joao Neves’ potential transfer is complex. With a €120 million (£101.2m) release clause in his contract, any deal for Neves would require a substantial investment. Reports indicate that United’s initial offer of €60 million (£50.7m) was rejected by Benfica, suggesting that a higher bid will be necessary.

Given Benfica’s history of selling high-profile players for significant fees, the likelihood of a cut-price deal seems slim. However, with United’s need to strengthen their midfield and Liverpool’s interest, the competition could drive the price closer to Neves’ release clause. Neves’ current wage at Benfica is not publicly disclosed, but any move to the Premier League would likely come with a significant salary increase.

Possible…Not At That Fee

Joao Neves represents a strategic acquisition for any top club looking to bolster their midfield. Manchester United’s interest in the young Portuguese star reflects their ambition to secure long-term success, but Liverpool’s involvement complicates matters. As the summer transfer window progresses, fans will be eagerly watching to see if Neves makes the move to the Premier League and which club ultimately wins the race for his signature.

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