The Manchester derby was held over Joao Neves (19, Benfica), the ‘divine figure’ who will be responsible for Portugal’s future. With Manchester City holding the upper hand, Manchester United are keeping an eye on the situation.
British media outlet 90min confirmed the news on the 9th (Korean time) that Neves had recently left a deep impression on Manchester City and Manchester United scouts. “He was promoted to Benfica’s first team last season and played 17 games.”스포츠토토
Neves, who came through Benfica’s youth system, is responsible for the team’s back this season. He has excellent forward movement and skills, and despite his average height of 174cm, he also makes solid defensive contributions. In 8 games in Portugal’s Primeira Liga this season, he recorded 1.5 successful tackles per game, 4.4 ball recoveries, and a 91.6% pass success rate.
He was also named to the Portuguese national team roster for this international match for the first time. As Neves’ performance is known throughout Europe, coach Josep Guardiola (52, Spain) is paying attention. Manchester City recruited Mateo Kovacic (29) and Mateus Nunes (24) this summer, but has not yet completed reinforcing the midfield.
‘90min’ said, “Man City is leading the race to recruit Neves. They believe that Neves is ready to move to England and are watching his situation,” he said, adding, “The Treble team has recently entered the October A-match period with a decline in performance and a losing streak.”
However, Manchester City’s rival, Manchester United, also dreams of signing Neves. The media reported that Manchester United fell in love with Neves’ game while observing his teammate Antonio Silva (19). In addition, Paris Saint-Germain, Dortmund, and Juventus also attended the Benfica game and observed Neves.
Meanwhile, Neves has a contract with Benfica until 2028. When Benfica signed a new contract with Neves last August, they set his transfer allowance (buyout) clause at 120 million euros (about 171.1 billion won). It is an amount that is not easy to afford even in the next summer transfer market, let alone the upcoming January transfer window.