Bernardo Silva claims he ‘will pull strings’ to get Man Utd target to sign for Man City

Joe Williams
Bernardo Silva and Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes
Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes share a joke.

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva insists he “will pull strings” in order to get Benfica midfielder Joao Neves to join the Citizens over Manchester United.

Neves is the latest Benfica youngster to burst onto the scene and attract the attention of several top clubs across Europe.

Able to play in defensive, central, or attacking midfield, the 19-year-old has already played 39 times for the Portuguese giants and is now a regular starter under Roger Schmidt.

He was called up for the Portugal senior side for the first time in October after impressing for Benfica over the past 12 months.

Neves has since earned three caps for the national team and he is now attracting interest from clubs around Europe, including Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea.

The Red Devils recently sent scouts to watch the Benfica youngster score his first goal of the season before the international break, a 94th-minute equaliser against Sporting Lisbon.

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Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes said earlier this week that he “would love” to play with the Benfica midfielder at Old Trafford – but that it is up to the Red Devils coach to buy him.

“It has to be the Man United coach who says whether he has a place or not,” Fernandes said.

“He’s a great player, I don’t know if he would have a place or not. It depends on the coach and his ideas.

“But 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.”

But Man City’s Silva has vowed to try and persuade Neves to move to the Etihad Stadium over Man Utd if the youngster has to chose between the two Manchester clubs.

“I am very happy for João and other kids who are appearing in Benfica’s team and also in the national team,” Silva said.

“Joao Neves in the Premier League? I think that players with quality can play in any championship. I see him very focused on his club, which is the most important thing at the moment, a very young player but with a very promising future ahead of him.

“He arrived at the national team, settled in and integrated very well. He’s another one to help, if the coach thinks so, to help us help win the European Championship.

“For City instead of United? If I can, I will pull strings to Joao Neves to go to Man City. I’d like to see João joining City instead of Man United, of course.”