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Man United eye move for €100m-rated Real Madrid target

Manchester United have made Benfica defender Antonio Silva their primary target for the 2024 summer transfer window, according to Florian Plettenberg.

The Red Devils will reshuffle their defence and have their sights set on the Portuguese international, who has been earning rave reviews for his performances with the Lisbon giants.

United defender Raphael Varane has reportedly fallen out with manager Erik ten Hag amid poor form and has been benched for their last three Premier League games. 

Victor Lindelof started their 3-0 win over Everton but struggled against the physicality of Dominic Calvert-Lewin on several occasions.

He has a year left on his contract with the option of an extra year, but there have been no negotiations regarding a new deal.

United need to sign another defender, and Silva, who has a €100 million release clause in his deal that runs until 2027, could be their man.

Silva burst onto the scene last season amid an injury crisis in defence and played a vital role as the Portuguese giants won the league title, helping his side with 16 clean sheets in 30 appearances and bagging three goals. 

He made his Champions League debut last season, partnering Nicolas Otamendi in the centre of defence and keeping a clean sheet in a win over Maccabi Haifa.

Silva has helped Benfica to four clean sheets in 11 Primeira Liga appearances this season, winning 67% of his aerial and 72% of his ground duels. 

He is a polished centre-back on the ball, recording 94% passing accuracy while being dispossessed only 4.7 times per game. He averages 3.91 progressive passes and 1.10 carries per 90.

Silva’s performances domestically and in Europe have earned him plaudits and the interest of Real Madrid, who are also in the market for a defender to bolster their ranks after injuries ravaged their backline.

Benfica will look to encourage a bidding war for the 20-year-old. They have been known to stand on the release clauses they set, and it will be intriguing to see if United can match the figure. 

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