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Manchester United-linked Joao Neves 'has £105m release clause in Benfica contract'

Man Utd-linked Joao Neves 'has £105m release clause in Benfica contract'
© Reuters
Manchester United-linked Joao Neves reportedly has a £105m (€120m) release clause in his Benfica contract.

Manchester United-linked Joao Neves reportedly has a £105m (€120m) release clause in his Benfica contract.

The 19-year-old has established himself as a first-team regular with Benfica since the big-money departure of Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea for a reported £107m in January.

Neves played 19 times for the Portuguese giants across all competitions during the second half of last season and he has since started 15 of his 18 appearances this term, including eight Primeira Liga starts and four more in the Champions League group stage.

The teenager primarily operates as a deep-lying midfielder, but he has shown his versatility this campaign as he has been forced to operate on the right flank in recent weeks due to injuries within Roger Schmidt's squad.

Neves's impressive spell in Benfica's first team was rewarded with his first senior call-up to Roberto Martinez's Portugal squad last month, and he made his debut in a Euro 2024 qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina before making two more substitute outings against Liechtenstein and Iceland last week.

Benfica's Joao Neves pictured during the match on May 27, 2023© Reuters

His rapid rise on the European stage is understood to have caught the eye of a number of top European clubs including Man United, who allegedly sent scouts to watch the midfielder score his first goal of the season in a 2-1 league win over Sporting Lisbon earlier this month.

A recent report claims that the Red Devils are considering tabling an offer for Neves in the January transfer window due to the growing interest in his services.

Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in the midfielder, who is under contract at Benfica until the summer of 2028.

However, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Benfica have no intention of opening talks with any clubs over the potential January sale of Neves, who possesses a £105m (€120m) release clause in his contract.

Benfica midfielder Joao Neves pictured on May 21, 2023© Reuters

Man United captain Bruno Fernandes spoke highly of Portuguese compatriot Neves while on international duty last week, telling reporters via the Metro: "I would love to have him by my side (at Man United) because he has quality and will have a bright future.

"It depends on him. What I want most is the best for him. It has to be the Man United coach who says whether he has a place or not.

"He's a great player, I don't know if he would have a place or not. It depends on the coach and his ideas.

"But he's an excellent player and an excellent kid, very professional, he will have a bright future wherever he goes."

Man United's interest in Neves comes at a time when Casemiro has been linked with a possible exit from Old Trafford, with one report claiming that incoming minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe could look to sell the Brazilian to raise funds for a rebuild of Erik ten Hag's squad.

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Benfica's Joao Neves in action on September 20, 2023
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Man United 'scouted Joao Neves against Sporting Lisbon'
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