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Fresh twist for Man Utd as Man City want to sign Neves, Guardiola likes him

Manchester United could face stiff competition from arch-rivals Manchester City in the race to sign Benfica wonderkid Joao Neves this summer, according to O Jogo (page 14).

The Red Devils are exploring a deal for the highly-rated midfielder. The club’s hierarchy recently made a second offer worth £59 million for the 19-year-old sensation.

However, it could reportedly take at least £85m to persuade them to part ways with their prized asset.

A fresh twist has been added to the story, with City are preparing to join the race by as they search for a potential replacement for Kevin De Bruyne.

De Bruyne has agreed terms with Saudi Pro League giants Al-Ittihad, and negotiations are due to be held between the clubs over the price.

While Neves is a completely different profile compared to De Bruyne, manager Pep Guardiola is an admirer.

United can’t afford to miss out on Neves to City

The Red Devils are eager to recruit a marquee defensive midfielder. They were initially linked with Paris Saint-Germain’s Manuel Ugarte, but Neves appears to be the prime target.

The club had an initial bid of £51m turned down by Benfica before making an improved proposal but must increase their offer with City in the mix.

Neves is primarily a holding midfielder by trade, but he can play centrally or on the right-hand side. Guardiola probably sees him accompanying Rodri in the centre of the park.

He has the traits to become world-class and United can’t afford to lose him to their rivals.

The youngster is one of the best young midfielders in world football. He had a passing accuracy of 90 percent, with an impressive six duels and two tackles won per game last season.

The Portuguese also registered 6.4 ball recoveries on average, completing 62 percent of his take-ons. The 19-year-old has shown plenty of maturity and would be an upgrade on Casemiro.

United obviously need to recoup funds from player sales for a big spending spree this summer, but they need to be proactive in the pursuit of Neves to prevent City from hijacking the deal.

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