Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils ‘identify Casemiro replacement

According to Sports Mole, Manchester United is reportedly eyeing Benfica’s Joao Neves as their top choice to replace Casemiro, who is expected to depart Old Trafford in the upcoming transfer window.

Casemiro’s future at Manchester United has come under scrutiny following a season of mixed performances, leading to interest from clubs in Saudi Arabia, namely Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal. Despite having two years left on his contract, the Brazilian midfielder’s omission from the FA Cup final starting lineup has fueled speculation about his exit.

According to reports from United Update, Manchester United has identified 19-year-old Joao Neves as their primary target to fill the midfield void left by Casemiro. Neves, a promising talent from Benfica, is seen as a potential partner for Kobbie Mainoo in the Red Devils’ midfield.

Neves’s future has attracted attention from other clubs, with Manchester City also reportedly interested in securing his services. Portugal’s national team coach, Roberto Martinez, has endorsed Neves’s abilities, affirming his readiness to thrive at a club of Manchester United’s stature.

However, Neves has received encouragement from his compatriot Bernardo Silva to consider a move to Manchester City instead of joining Manchester United. Despite the interest from rival clubs, Benfica holds a strong position with a release clause of €120m (£101.9m) in Neves’s contract.

While negotiating a deal at the release clause seems unlikely for Manchester United, the potential departure of Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, and Donny van de Beek could free up significant wages, making room for new signings. Additionally, the impending departures of Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial would further alleviate the wage bill pressure.

Neves’s impressive performances for Benfica, totaling 55 appearances last season, have cemented his status as a rising star in world football. Benfica’s interest in Mason Greenwood could potentially facilitate negotiations, although several factors need to align for Manchester United to secure Neves’s signature.

As Manchester United aims to bolster its midfield ahead of the new season, the pursuit of Joao Neves represents a strategic move to inject fresh talent into the squad, potentially reshaping the club’s midfield dynamics for the future.

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