Man Utd Transfer News: Red Devils dealt hammer blow in €200m Antonio Silva and Joao Neves pursuit

Tom Weber
Tom Weber

  • Updated: 28 Dec 2023 15:21 GMT
  • 3 min read
Erik ten Hag, Man Utd, 2023/24
© ProShots

Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt has made it crystal clear that Antonio Silva and Joao Neves won’t be for sale in January, dealing a blow to Manchester United and Real Madrid.

The Benficaduo have become two of Europe’s most sought-after commodities. Already regular fixtures for the Portuguese giants despite their tender ages of 20 and 19, respectively, the towering centre-back and the central midfielder continue to be heavily linked with an exit in 2024.

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Indeed, Man Utd are long-time admirers of both and were already interested in securing the Portugual internationals’ signatures in the summer, while Real Madrid are also said to be keen on Silva. The problem? Both Neves and Silva boast release clauses worth a whopping €100 million.

Even if Benfica were to show a willingness to negotiate that fee down, we would still be talking €80-90m, according to Fabrizio Romano, so it is clear that the highly-rated youngsters won’t come cheap. And as things stand, Benfica have no intention to budge from their valuation.

Joao Neves and Antonio Silva
© ProShots – Joao Neves and Antonio Silva

Silva and Neves not for sale

According to the the Eagles’ head coach, Silva and Neves will not be for sale mid-season and clubs will have to bide their time until the summer before launching bids for the starlets.

“We are halfway through the season and we have big goals,” Roger Schmidt said at his pre-match press conference before Benfica face Famalicao. “We certainly won’t let any of these players leave. We need them and no one wants to leave, so it’s out of the question.”

“Sometimes we make adjustments, because some players are not happy, or don’t get the playing time they expected. We have to be prepared for some changes, but at this point, I don’t know what it [the window] will be like. We have a good team, we are having a good season overall.”

“We are waiting for Juan Bernat, Alexander Bah and David Neres, who return [from injury] in mid-January, and then the situation will be different. We are not pressured. If something happens, it happens. If nothing happens, that’s fine too.”

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