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Manchester City midfielder tells Joao Neves to snub Manchester United move

Man City midfielder tells Joao Neves to snub Man United move
© Reuters
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva tells Benfica's Joao Neves to snub a move to Manchester United and join the Premier League champions instead.

Benfica starlet Joao Neves has been told to snub a move to Manchester United and join Manchester City by one of his Portugal teammates.

At just 19 years of age, Neves is already a mainstay in the Benfica XI and amassed three goals and two assists in 55 matches during an eye-catching 2023-24 season.

As well as starting 27 matches in the Primeira Liga, Neves played every minute of Benfica's short-lived Champions League campaign and also helped the Eagles win the Portuguese top flight in 2022-23.

On account of his rapid rise to stardom, Neves has been selected to represent Portugal at Euro 2024 and has already won six caps for his nation, earning his first start in Tuesday's 4-2 friendly win over Iceland.

Benfica managed to ward off interest in Neves's services last summer by tying him down to a new long-term contract until the summer of 2028, although his deal reportedly includes a £105m release clause.

Benfica's Joao Neves in action on September 20, 2023© Reuters

As a result, Benfica would be powerless to prevent him from leaving if an interested party meets that nine-figure sum, and the strongest interest is believed to be coming from Manchester United.

Portugal boss Roberto Martinez recently talked up Neves's chances of representing the Red Devils in the future, and Erik ten Hag has already confirmed that he is on the lookout for a new midfielder for the 2024-25 season.

However, the 2004-born protege has now been told to turn his nose up to the Red Devils and instead move to the Etihad by Man City's Bernardo Silva, who wants Neves by his side in sky blue.

"I told him to go to Manchester City. It's not easy. He's a player who, due to the success he had last season, has many clubs that want him," Silva told reporters, as quoted by Goal.

"As a Portuguese and being a player I appreciate him, I would like to see him by my side. But I want the best for him. I don't need to convince him. Joao Neves is already convincing with the way he works, with the energy he brings to the game.

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva on April 28, 2024© Reuters

"It will be easy for many clubs to enter the race. Let him make his decision, let it be the best for him. If he continues with this energy, he has a very good future ahead of him."

Should Neves join Man City or Man United?

Taking the £105m release clause out of the equation for now, Neves surely has more of an incentive to join Man United over Man City from a playing perspective, even if Silva is trying to twist his arm.

First of all, the latter may not even be around to give Neves a reassuring arm over the shoulder at the Etihad; his desire to leave has been known for some time, and both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be interested in a summer swoop.

Furthermore, Neves would be immediately upstaged by Rodri at Man City, but by moving to Man United, he would immediately become a jewel in the Red Devils' crown and could expect more opportunities in the Premier League at Old Trafford.

Compatriots Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes - expected to stay despite interest from Bayern Munich - would both be waiting to welcome him with open arms too, but the finances involved means that a summer swoop is still unrealistic.

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Portugal coach Roberto Martinez before the match on September 8, 2023
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