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Man Utd transfer news: New problem for €100m BOSS as Barcelona double down

Robin Bairner
Antonio Silva, Man Utd, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Manchester United’s summer transfer window promises to be a complex affair for Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his new backroom team at Old Trafford, and already there is a fresh hurdle for them to overcome in pursuit of a likely target.

Man Utd will seek to strengthen many areas of their team in the forthcoming window, but the defence has been earmarked for an upgrade at centre-back.

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READ MORE: Latest Man Utd transfer rumours

One of those players who United are following is Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva.

The 20-year-old turned in an impressive display against Sporting CP on Thursday under the eyes of watching Chelsea scouts, with local media declaring that he is already the Lisbon side’s defensive boss.

Barcelona push Bayern towards Antonio Silva

While the Blues’ interest in Antonio Silva may have stepped up after watching that performance, the player’s stock is particularly rising at Bayern Munich, according to Sport.

This comes despite David Ornstein reporting that Eric Dier’s loan deal from Tottenham will be made permanent by the Bundesliga champions.

READ MORE: Man Utd top scorers 2023/24: Casemiro strikes with Hojlund still out

Benfica's Antonio Silva
© IMAGO – Benfica’s Antonio Silva

Two factors are driving Bayern’s increased thrust to sign the Portugal international. Firstly, new sporting director Max Eberl is a fan of the player.

Secondly, Barcelona are seriously complicating the process by refusing to allow Ronald Araujo to depart the club.

Bayern placed a bid worth €80 million for the Uruguay defender in January and were said to be willing to reach €100m if Barca had been open to negotiations. After the Camp Nou side doubled down on their stance, FCB looked at other options, of which Man Utd target Silva is one.

Now the Germans are willing to invest the €100m they were going to pay for Araujo in the Benfica star instead.

Clearly, this poses an issue for Man Utd’s summer transfer plans. A deal for Antonio Silva appeared complicated previously, with the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal also interested in the young centre-back, but another Champions League giant joining the race throws up another hurdle that must be cleared.

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