Manchester United transfer news: Bruno Fernandes talks up ‘excellent’ Benfica star Joao Neves | Football

Joao Neves is a target for Manchester United (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes says ‘excellent’ Benfica defender Joao Neves is ‘ready’ for a move to a top club.

The 19-year-old has become a mainstay in Benfica’s first team and is already an international compatriot of Fernandes with the national team.

His performances, which defy his age, have caught the attention of Europe’s top clubs.

Benfica denied claims in January that they had held talks with Manchester United over Neves but there’s no doubt that the Red Devils are one of the clubs leading the way for his signature.

Neves has a £103million release clause in his deal, which United would not be willing to pay.

Neves has a £103m release clause. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

Neves has a £103m release clause. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

But, while Fernandes refused to address United’s interest specifically, he says his Portugal team-mate is ready for a move to a ‘big club’.

‘I don’t know if United rumours are true, but I know he is ready for that big jump,’ said Fernandes.

‘He is an excellent player, he’s with the National team. That’s also why the big clubs are after him’

United are expected to release Raphael Varane when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The Frenchman is one of the highest paid players at the club, and Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen to reduce the wage bill.

Jonny Evans is also likely to leave, while Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof could be sold.

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