The 19-year-old broke into the Benfica first-team at the start of 2023 following Enzo Fernandez’s £106million move to Chelsea, filling the void left by the World Cup winner.
Neves has gone from strength to strength this season, establishing himself as a key first-team player under Benfica coach Roger Schmidt and making three appearances for Portugal.
United are admirers of Neves who is now viewed as a ‘priority investment’ at Old Trafford where Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are set to overhaul the club’s recruitment department after years of mismanagement.
The Mirror report United will now begin the groundwork for a summer deal soon. Incidentally, United have held talks with Benfica this month over a deal for Alvaro Fernandez with the full-back expected to join the Portuguese giants on an initial loan deal.
United captain Bruno Fernandes fuelled talk of a move for his young compatriot in November, naming him as one of the best young players in Europe.
‘It has to be the Man United coach who says whether he has a place or not,’ Fernandes said.
‘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.
‘I would love to have him by my side. Because he has quality and will have a bright future. It depends on him. What I want most is the best for him’.
Benfica were determined not to sell Fernandez to Chelsea last January with the Blues eventually paying his huge release clause to push the deal through.
But Benfica head coach Schmidt does not expect history to repeat itself this month.
‘We are halfway through the season and we have big goals. We certainly won’t let any of these players leave. We need them and no one wants to leave, so there’s no question.’
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