Former Man Utd fan favourite tells wonderkid to snub Red Devils

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 17 Apr 2024 17:07 BST
  • 3 min read
Erik ten Hag, Manchester United

Nemanja Matic believes that it is too early for Joao Neves to leave Benfica.

The Portuguese wonderkid has emerged as one of the biggest revelations in European football over the past 12 months. Thrust into the Benfica first team after Enzo Fernandez's record-breaking transfer to Chelsea, Neves has since gone on to establish himself as a key player.

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The 19-year-old has suitors all around Europe, but his hefty €120 million release clause means that only a handful of clubs would be able to acquire him. Man Utd have been most prominently linked with the Portugal international, with first links already emerging in the summer of 2023.

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However, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has played down the possibility of the Red Devils moving for Neves this summer. According to him, Man Utd have different priorities and likely won't have the budget to splash that kind of money on a teenager.

This could actually be a blessing in disguise for the youngster. That is because former Benfica and Man Utd star Nemanja Matic believes that the 19-year-old is not yet ready for that kind of blockbuster transfer.

Joao Neves
© IMAGO - Joao Neves

Matic tells Neves to stay put

Speaking to O Jogo, the Lyon midfielder urged Neves to stay put for a few more years in order to mature more and get more experience under his belt. "I think it’s too early for him to take that step of leaving," the ex-Chelsea man said.

"If it were him, I would stay at Benfica for a few more years to play in the Champions League and to mature more. I’m sure his time will come and, therefore, he doesn’t need to rush."

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"Joao is already at a big club at this point. I’m sure his future at Benfica will be very good. I think it’s too early to leave, but of course, in the end, it’s always his decision."

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