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Man Utd to destroy Man City transfer dream with ‘increased bid coming’ for €120m star Guardiola loves

Manchester United are reportedly ready to launch a mammoth improved bid to win the race for Joao Neves this summer and beat Manchester City to his signature and end the transfer aims of both Pep Guardiola and Bernardo Silva in the process.

The Red Devils are preparing for what they hope will be a big summer on the transfer front as INEO chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks to make his mark at Old Trafford. Having acquired a 27.7% stake in the club from the Glazers and with it gaining full sporting control, the British billionaire has ambitious plans to transform the fortunes of Manchester United.

 

For too long now, United have been forced to take a backseat and watch their two arch-rivals in Liverpool and Manchester City dominate the hunt for silverware in England, though two cup wins in two years for United have punctured their duopoly and illustrated the Red Devils are also capable of competing.

 

Ratcliffe, however, is determined to turbo-charge a major improvement at Old Trafford that will see the club looking to strengthen the spine of their team. To that end, TEAMtalk understands the Man Utd chief wants to make a minimum of four new signings, with a central defender, a midfielder, a new striker and a new right-sided attacker all on his wishlist.

However, the club will need to make sacrifices too to keep on the right side of the Premier League’s strict new FFP regulations. The exits of Anthony Martial and Raphael Varane (on a combined £590,000 a week – or a staggering £30.68m per year) will help, while other high earners, such as Casemiro, likely to follow.

 

Man Utd ready to offload high earners

The first major sale of the summer, though, could see United hit badly in the pocket with a crippling £41.5m loss expected on their initial investment into Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

 

All these sacrificed, though, are necessary with Ratcliffe, alongside sporting director Dan Ashworth and technical director Jason Wilcox looking to fine-tune their playing squad and add a much-needed dose of additional quality.

 

And with the type of targets United looking at in both defence and midfield unlikely to come cheap, the focus for the Red Devils will undoubtedly be on quality over quantity.

 

 

Ashworth’s job will be on ensuring United sign both the right characters and do not pay over the odds to land them. To often in he past the Red Devils have been seen as easy targets when it comes bringing in new players. The extortionate fees paid to Ajax two summers ago for Lisandro Martinez and Antony are testament to that – and Ashworth will need to ensure the days of United being bullied in the market are no more.

 

It is that policy that has come to pass with their first concrete move of the summer window for Benfica midfielder Neves.

 

The teenage midfielder has emerged as one of European football’s best No 6’s around, with his talents already winning acclaim from his compatriot and United skipper, Bruno Fernandes.

Tipped to be one of the stars of the upcoming European Championships, Neves has a blockbuster €120m (£102.1m) exit clause in his Benfica deal, making any such move difficult to pull off.

 

Man Utd transfers: Improved bid coming for Man City target Joao Neves

However, United believe a deal is there to be done and have already seen an opening €60m (£51.1m) proposal laughed off.

 

But while that opening gambit has been laughed off, it’s now claimed that United ‘have an increased bid coming’ in a bid to ‘steal a march’ on their rivals in the race for the 19-year-old.

 

While the actual amount is not disclosed, it’s believed United could raise their offer to €75m (£63.9m) for the player, while also adding in a string of add-ons that could take the fee nearer the €85m (£72.4m) mark.

 

United are well aware of the need to act with haste to win this particular transfer face. Benfica are keen to tie the midfielder down to a new deal and raise his exit clause further towards the €150m mark – making their prospects of a deal now even tougher to negotiate.

 

And there is also the small matter of Manchester City‘s reported interest, with Portuguese reports claiming the midfield sensation is also very much adored by Guardiola and a player he would love to have at the Etihad.

 

Indeed, City’s chances of a deal have also been talked up by Bernardo Silva, who opes to convince the player to move to the blue half of Manchester this summer.

 

“As a Portuguese and a player I like, I’d like to see him alongside me. But I want the best for him,” Silva said of his compatriot.

 

Silva added: “Guardiola? I don’t need to convince him. Joao Neves is already convincing because of the way he works and the energy he brings to the game.

 

“He won’t be a cheap player, it won’t be easy for many clubs to get in on the act.

 

“Let him make his decision, let it be what’s best for him. If he keeps up this energy, he has a very good future ahead of him.”

 

Neves has already clocked up 75 senior games for Benfica, scoring four times, and has been capped six times by his country.

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