Manchester United’s summer transfer budget is not as exorbitant as last season and Erik ten Hag knows player sales are the only way to add to that kitty.
FFP restrictions and the lack of progress regarding the club’s proposed takeover means the club will have to tread carefully. They cannot afford to burn the budget by going after one or two high-profile stars.
Joao Neves the latest Portuguese wonderkid
The Ecuadorian is not the only young midfielder being eyed by the Reds as Gianluca Di Marzio has now reported that Benfica sensation Joao Neves is also of interest.
“Manchester United likes Joao Neves. The central midfielder born in 2004 established himself in the last season at Benfica. He has already made his debut in the Champions League and was among the protagonists in winning the championship.”
The 18-year-old’s breakthrough campaign saw him make 20 appearances in all competitions as he registered one goal and one assist.
His versatility saw Roger Schmidt use him all across the park, mainly as the defensive or central midfielder, but also up front or on the wings.
He is currently taking part in the U21 European Championships with Portugal and even scored a superb volley against Belgium to secure progress to the next round.
— UnitedReds (@UnitedRedscom) June 29, 2023
United eyeing young stars is a welcome return to form
He is valued at €10 million as per Transfermarkt and his Benfica deal is valid until 2028.
It is great to see United once again getting linked with top young stars across Europe, a staple under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson but lost in subsequent years.
That trait is once again being reawakened, as seen in United’s deals for Alejandro Garnacho, Amad Diallo and Hannibal Mejbri. The Reds have already been linked with a move for the Turkish Messi — Arda Guler.
Even if Neves does not end up joining United, the fact that scouts have once again woken up to the concept of signing highly-rated stars means United are back in business.