Joao Neves transfer news: Liverpool’s Man Utd hijack attempt makes NO SENSE

Cameron Smith
Erik ten Hag, Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool are reportedly eager to hijack Manchester United’s pursuit of Benfica wonderkid Joao Neves.

The Reds are ‘very attentive’ to Neves’ situation, according to reports in Portugal, and are ready to battle Man Utd and Bayern Munich for the 19-year-old’s signature.

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Man Utd are the club who have been most heavily linked with a move for Neves over the past year, following his breakout at Benfica, however they will face significant competition in the race to sign him.

READ MORE: Agent Bruno! Why Fernandes is SPOT ON about Man Utd-linked wonderkid

The Portuguese international replaced Enzo Fernandez in the first-team at the Estadio da Luz after the Argentine left for Chelsea last year, and his start to life in senior football has been exceptional.

Red Devils captain, and Neves’ international team-mate, Bruno Fernandes even recently admitted: “I don’t know if the United rumours are true, but I know he is ready for that big jump. He is an excellent player, he’s with the national team. That’s also why the big clubs are after him.

Last November, Fernandes also said: “He’s an excellent player and an excellent kid, very professional. He will have a bright future wherever he goes. I would love to have him by my side. Because he has quality and will have a bright future. It depends on him. What I want most is the best for him.”

READ MORE: Who is Joao Neves? Benfica’s new Enzo Fernandez linked with a £100m transfer to Man Utd

In addition, Man Utd are very interested in acquiring Everton midfielder Amadou Onana, FootballTransfers understands, as they pursue a long-term replacement for the ageing Casemiro.

While Liverpool are reportedly set to fight Man Utd for Neves’ signature this summer, a move doesn’t really make sense, despite his evident talent.

Joao Neves to Liverpool?

While Neves is a brilliant midfielder, he isn’t a player that Liverpool need.

Wataru Endo has excelled in a defensive role over the past few weeks, while Alexis Mac Allister has frequently played as a number six this campaign too.

Neves is a very talented player, but he isn’t currently a superior player than Endo or Mac Allister, while Dominik Szoboszlai, Curtis Jones, Ryan Gravenberch, Stefan Bajcetic and Harvey Elliott are also midfield options available at Anfield. Furthermore, Thiago Alcantara remains at the club, although he is set to leave this summer.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been tipped to move into midfield to allow Conor Bradley to continue at right-back too, meaning a new midfielder isn’t exactly a priority for Liverpool.

Joao Neves, Benfica
© IMAGO – Joao Neves, Benfica

Furthermore, a move to Anfield ranks as only Neves’ 19th best option, according to data analytics experts SciSports. Using a multitude of different factors, each player in world football is provided a ranking system of their most well-suited clubs, taking into account things such as potential development and playing time.

Borussia Dortmund are considered to be Neves’ ideal next club, while Man Utd are 12th, behind Chelsea and Manchester City.

Considering it will likely cost around €100 million to sign Neves this summer, it simply isn’t value for money for a club like Liverpool and they should avoid purchasing the Portuguese international even though he is a supremely talented player.

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