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Report: Manchester United will bid again for £102m wonderkid as club know they need big sale this summer

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Manchester United have already bid once to sign a top target this summer, and now a second bid is already expected as Ineos push for move.

For Manchester United, this summer is all about tightening up the defence after a campaign which saw Andre Onana face more shots than any other Premier League goalkeeper.

This is reflected in the club’s priorities with left-back, central defence and defensive midfield all among the positions that the club want to strengthen this summer.

  • READ MORE: Fabrizio Romano names the four positions he’s convinced Man Utd will sign players this summer

The centre-half position looks like it’s being worked on with Jarrad Branthwaite being eyed up in a deal that United want to see completed by June 30th.

In terms of midfield, it also appears that Ineos‘ top target has been identified and a bid has already been submitted. Now a second bid is expected.

  • READ MORE: Manchester United confirmed signings, transfers in, out, loan exits, releases for 2024/25

Joao Neves of Portugal is warming up prior to the international friendly match between Portugal and Finland at Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon, Por...

Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez Rey/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Manchester United expected to submit second bid for Joao Neves

After a first bid of just £51m was rejected last week for Joao Neves, Benfica are braced for a second and improved offer to arrive for the 19-year-old talent.

According to a report in Portugal from A Bola United are pushing hard for the signature of Neves and a second bid is expected in the near future, with Benfica knowing they need to make a big sale this summer.

Rui Costa admitted that the Portuguese side needed to sell someone big, however, the plan was for that to be Antonio Silva, although there is a lack of interest in him so Neves could end up being sacrificed instead.

Previous reports suggested a bid of £85m would be enough to tempt Benfica to the table, so things are a little far apart right now. Neves does have a €120m or £102m release clause which would give Benfica zero say in a sale. According to TeamTalk, a second United bid is expected to be worth as much as £63.9m with add-ons taking the potential offer close to £72.4m.

With Neves long being suggested as a top target for Ineos, it looks increasingly likely he will be the midfielder who arrives this summer.

  • READ MORE: Who are INEOS? Exploring Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s billion-pound business

Concerns over a Neves and Mainoo midfield are misplaced

Neves is only 19, the same age as Kobbie Mainoo and so throwing them together in a midfield pairing might be a risk with both having plenty to work on and learn before they’re the polished article.

  • READ MORE: Who is Kobbie Mainoo? Inside the life of Man Utd’s rising star, including his parents, brother and school

This has left many concerned that despite Neves clearly being ‘ready to play at the highest level’, the pair might be caught out when together at least until they develop a little more.

But as a midfielder, Neves is a combative all-rounder who is tenacious and excels in intercepting opponents and breaking up play while then having the ability to progress play.

Neves is everything fans have wanted from a defensive midfielder for years, and the only real concern would be his height which is 5ft 7in. But even this means little as, despite it, he wins 1.6 aerial duels per 90 – as per FBRef – which is more than Rodri who wins 1.5 – as per FBRef.

Yes, they’ll make mistakes, and they’re young footballers, but they’re two of the best midfield prospects of the new generation and to have both would be perfect, it’s just down to a manager to make it work, which it absolutely could.

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