Wednesday, April 24News That Matters

Benfica release official statement regarding Joao Neves to Man Utd transfer

Benfica issued a statement refuting any discussions with Manchester United regarding the potential transfer of Joao Neves.

Neves, a 19-year-old player, has solidified his position as a regular starter for the Portuguese giants, currently occupying the second spot in the Primeira Liga, just one point behind Sporting Lisbon.

Demonstrating his skills in defensive midfield, Neves has made 29 appearances across all competitions. His contract at the Estadio da Luz extends until the summer of 2028 and incorporates a £103 million buy-out clause.

Earlier this week, reports suggested that Manchester United was set to engage in talks with Benfica to secure Neves’ transfer to Old Trafford.

While it is anticipated that a substantial fee will be required for the acquisition, Manchester United is reportedly prepared to commence negotiations.

Nevertheless, Benfica has now rebuffed these reports, asserting that no talks have been initiated with Manchester United.

“Sport Lisboa e Benfica denies the existence of any right of preference over its player João Neves,” the Portuguese club said in an official statement released on Tuesday afternoon.

“Under no circumstances did Sport Lisboa e Benfica enter into talks with Manchester United or any other club about this player from their formation – nor does it intend to do so – so any information that points in another direction is false.”

The affirmation from the club leaders unequivocally confirms their alignment with manager Roger Schimdt’s stance.

Last month, the manager emphatically stated that none of his players harbor a desire to depart, emphasizing their commitment to defending the title they secured in the previous season.

“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,” he said.

“I talk to them every day, all of them. We’re in the middle of the season, we have big goals with Benfica. Of course we’re not going to let these players leave, we need them and they don’t want to leave. There’s no question about that.”

In addition to clinching a consecutive Primeira Liga title, Neves aims to contribute significantly to Benfica’s advancement in the Europa League. Renowned for his ability to disrupt opposing plays and initiate attacks from deep positions, the 19-year-old holds a crucial role.

Following Manchester United’s disappointing performance under Erik ten Hag’s second season, Neves is emerging as a top-priority investment.

A potential transfer for the young talent would likely receive strong backing from United’s captain, Bruno Fernandes.

“It has to be the Manchester United coach who says whether he has a place in the team or not,” Fernandes said in November when asked about the possibility of Neves moving to the Red Devils.

“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.”

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