Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has admitted that he will “pull strings” in an attempt to stop Manchester United signing his Portugal team-mate Joao Neves.
The 19-year-old wonderkid has attracted intense transfer interest from the Red Devils and Erik ten Hag’s side are aiming to sign the Benfica star in 2024.
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A January pursuit is unlikely given Man Utd’s financial position, FootballTransfers understand, while Fabrizio Romano has stated that Benfica have “no intention” of selling Neves mid-season.
However, Man Utd are continuing to scout the talented midfielder as they hope to secure his services next summer. Their interest in Neves dates back several months and they are believed to be the front-runners in the race to sign him.
Furthermore, Man Utd captain Bruno Fernandes would love to see his international team-mate move to Old Trafford.
© ProShots - Joao Neves, BenficaWhat has been said about Joao Neves?
"It has to be the Man United coach who says whether he has a place or not,” Fernandes told Sport TV Portugal. “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. You will have a bright future wherever you go. I would really like 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."
But, Neves’ performances while on Portugal duty have also impressed Man City star Bernardo Silva, who wants the Benfica youngster to move to the Etihad Stadium rather than Old Trafford.
He told B24PT: “If I can, I will pull strings to João Neves to go to Man City. I’d like to see João joining City instead of Man United, of course!”
Neves will cost a lot of money if either Manchester club wants to push ahead and sign him, however, with Romano recently reporting that Benfica will only let him leave if his €120 million release clause is activated.