Transfer gossip: Man Utd face City battle for Benfica teen as Liverpool eye Sporting star

Ian Watson
Benfica midfielder Joao Neves and Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio.
Benfica midfielder Joao Neves is wanted by Man Utd while Liverpool chase Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio.

Manchester United are being linked with Benfica’s Joao Neves and Atalanta’s Giorgio Scalvini while Liverpool clash with Real Madrid over a Sporting defender…

Benfica are at it again. The Portuguese giants flipped Enzo Fernandez through the first half of last season, selling the Argentina midfielder to Chelsea for a British record fee in January. Now their replacement for Fernandez is being courted by both Manchester clubs.

United have sent their scouts to watch Joao Neves on numerous occasions, when they will have seen the 19-year-old emerge as one of Benfica’s most impressive performers this season. Indeed, Neves has been called into the Portugal squad for the current internationals.

Benfica will expect Fernandez money for Neves, who recently signed a new contract with the club until 2028, with his buy-out clause set at £103million.

It won’t help United that City are also sniffing. 90min suggests that the Treble winners are currently leading the chase for Neves, with PSG, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus also monitoring the teenager.


United are also keeping a close eye on another 19-year-old, Atalanta’s Giorgio Scalvini.

The teenager came through the ranks with Atalanta before making his senior debut aged 17. Scalvini, who is a centre-back but can play as a defensive midfielder, has six Italy caps to his name.

United are keen to raid Atalanta again, following the signing of Rasmus Hojlund, with Tuttomercatoweb reporting that Scalvini’s asking price has been set at £43.2million, which is said to have been too high for Inter when they were looking for a deal in the summer.


The Red Devils have been linked with Goncalo Inacio, but it seems that Liverpool are ahead in the race for the Sporting Lisbon centre-back.

Ignacio has played a leading role in Sporting’s fine start to the season, which has caught the attention of the Reds as well as Real Madrid.

Defensa Cemtral says both clubs will go head to head in January, with Inacio’s release clause set at £51.8million. The 22-year-old is currently on international duty with Portugal for whom he has scored twice in three senior appearances under Roberto Martinez.

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