Man Utd could lose 'next Bruno Fernandes' to Man City

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 10 Oct 2023 10:22 BST
  • 3 min read
Bruno Fernandes, Man Utd, 2022/23
© ProShots

Manchester United have been tracking Benfica prodigy Joao Neves since January, but the 'next Bruno Fernandes' could end up across town at Manchester City, according to reports.

Neves has become a first-team regular at Benfica this season despite only turning 19 in September, winning plaudits for his all-round midfield play which has seen him average three shot-creating actions per game.

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His performances have caught Man Utd's eye, with the club looking to reinforce their midfield with Casemiro seemingly on the wane, Scott McTominay not trusted by Erik ten Hag, and Sofyan Amrabat only on loan.

READ: Man Utd in talks over Bruno Fernandes 2.0

Neves can also put a foot in - as three tackles and two blocks per 90 minutes attest - and with a valuation of €12.4 million per FootballTransfers' in-house algorithm, United were hopeful of getting him on the cheap as first movers.

'Man City are leading the race' for Neves

But City are ready to play spoiler to that plan.

"Neves' performances have now come to the attention of Europe's elite..." report Sean Walsh and Graeme Bailey for 90min. "Man City are currently leading the race for him and are already keeping close tabs on his situation, believing he would be ready to make the move to England."

READ: Revealed: The SIX clubs interested in Benfica starlet Antonio Silva

City recently signed Harrison Parker from United's youth academy and losing out on another young star would be a bitter pill to swallow.

United remain out in front in the race to sign Antonio Silva from Benfica as they look to bolster at centre-back, and his acquisition could help in their pursuit of Neves, however.

City, like United, could do with freshening things up in midfield. They lost Ilkay Gundogan on a free to Barcelona this summer, and Kevin De Bruyne has since been injured. Pep Guardiola recently backpedalled on his statements describing Matheus Nunes as one of the best players in the world,' meanwhile.

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