Who is Joao Neves? Benfica star linked with Liverpool and Man United with 'rejected' bid

Joao Neves of Benfica has been linked with Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Liverpool appear to be facing competition for the signing of Benfica midfielder Joao Neves.

The Reds are yet to reach an agreement over any potential new signings. Arne Slot has officially started his new role as head coach and will be busy assessing the squad ahead of the start of the Premier League season in August.

Midfield is an area of the squad that saw Liverpool bring in four new signings last summer with Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo, Ryan Gravenberch and Alexis Mac Allister all arriving at Anfield. Now, though, reports are emerging that further additions could be made during this summer transfer window.

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Neves is one player to be linked with a move to Liverpool this summer. However, it has been reported that Manchester United are also interested in signing the 19-year-old.

According to Portuguese news outlet Record, Man United have seen a bid rejected by Benfica to sign Neves. It has been claimed the offer was worth €60 million (£51 million) turned down by the Primeira Liga club.

Benfica are thought to be seeking a fee in excess of €100 million (£85 million) for Neves, with some reports suggesting he has a release clause worth €120 million (£102 million) in his contract.

Neves is 19 years old and plays as a defensive midfielder for Benfica. He started his career with the Portuguese giants and has progressed to become their starting No.6 in the league and in Europe.

The teenager was handed his senior debut for Benfica by manager Roger Schmidt in December 2022 in a 3-0 defeat to Braga. Neves has gone on to feature 75 times for Benfica over the last two seasons, scoring four goals with three assists.

It was back in January that Benfica were forced to issue a statement over Neves' future. The club reiterated that Neves' future remained in Portugal and denied that the club had entered talks with Man United over a deal to see the midfielder move to Old Trafford.

"Benfica denies the existence of any right of preference over its player Joao Neves," the statement read.

"Under no circumstances did Benfica enter into talks with Manchester United or any other club about this player from their formation – nor does it intend to do so –, so any information that points in another direction is false."