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Manchester United in move for ideal Kobbie Mainoo midfield partner



Manchester United in move for ideal Kobbie Mainoo midfield partner

Manchester United are pursuing the perfect partner for Kobbie Mainoo in midfield.

INEOS are expected to dismantle the Red Devils squad during the summer months with the onus on bringing a new lease of life to Old Trafford.

Christian Eriksen, Casemiro and Donny van de Beek have all been touted for potential exits with Erik ten Hag’s future also looking bleak.

Joao Neves has continued to impress in Portugal for his native Benfica but is likely to cost Manchester United in the region of £86million (€100m), as per his release clause.

An ideal partner for Kobbie Mainoo in midfield, the fellow teenager has played a whopping 54 times in all competitions for Roger Schmidt’s side this season.

Likely to be included in Portugal’s squad for the upcoming European Championships, ESPN have confirmed that INEOS are keeping tabs on his progress, with a summer move not out of the question.

Provided Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford can ensure high earners at the top exit later this year, a move could still be on the cards, but one journalist believes it will be a big ask for Man Utd to do so with Euro 2024 on the horizon.

“If there is one player that Benfica won’t negotiate for less than the release clause is Joao Neves,” began Bruno Andrade of Mais Futebol recently.

“Other players like Antonio Silva, Anatoliy Trubin, Benfica believe they can negotiate below their release clause but Joao Neves is different.

“He either leaves the club if his release clause is met or he stays. The board knows that his involvement in the Euro 2024, will increase their chances of getting the full asking price for him so it’s justified.

Benfica star Joao Neves continues to be linked with a summer move to Manchester United.

“United’s possible desperation [to sign promising talents] and the way in which Benfica profits well from selling their main academy players, means nothing is impossible along with Jorge Mendes’ involvement.

“I always think that it’s unlikely for a player in Portuguese football to leave for the value of their release clause but there are recent cases that prove this. And when you put together a club like United, a good negotiator like Jorge Mendes and Benfica’s success in selling young players, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a club come in and pay his €100m release clause.”

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