MANCHESTER UNITED have held talks with Benfica over the signing of child prodigy Joao Neves.
Nicknamed ‘Bruno Fernandes 2.0’, Man United have a keen interest in the 18-year-old.
Benfica are aware of the Red Devils’ interest.
And SunSport understand the two clubs have had some talks over a potential deal.
However, United may have to wait 12 months to sign Neves, whose dream is to play in the Premier League.
The Portuguese club do not plan to sell Neves until next summer.
However, should Benfica be eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage, they might be ready to sell in January.
Chelsea are also interested in the teenager and got in touch a few days ago.
But last winter’s Enzo Fernandez transfer saga – in which the Blues eventually clinched the world champions for a then-Premier League record £107m – left a bitter taste in Benfica.
Because of this, the Eagles are reluctant to open talks with Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
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Neves became a regular at Benfica last season, making 17 appearances in the Liga Portugal and scoring one goal after starting the club’s last six games of the season.
He also started two of the three league games this season to defend the title.
At 5’7″, Neves is strong on a number of key midfield metrics, including tackling, blocking and progressive passing.
The Portugal U21 star has an estimated market value of £8.6million.
United have appeared to be lightweight in midfield this season, which has reportedly prompted them to explore a number of options ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline.
These include Sofyan Amrabat, Ryan Gravenberch and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Erik ten Hag is also looking for a left-back following injuries to Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane.
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