Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd 'lead the race' to sign Joao Neves


João Neves and Antonio Silva

O Jogo, through the Liverpool Echo, has stated that Liverpool, Arsenal and manchester united are “leading the race” to sign Benfica midfielder Joao Neves this summer.

The 19-year-old has become one of the most sought-after players in Europe after a series of impressive performances with Benfica and several clubs prepared to fight for his signature.

The Echo cites a report from O Jogo claiming that Neves is wanted by teams including Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, but Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United are understood to be firmly in the driving seat.

However, Benfica will 'demand' any interested party to pay Joao Neves' release clause which amounts to £102.3m, so any deal will not be cheap. The player is open to moving in the summer and changing to first division will surely attract the young man if an agreement is reached.

Liverpool's next manager, Arne Slot, is expected to have the backing of the transfer market as they need some new faces in the team if they want to challenge Arsenal and city ​​of manchester for the Premier League next year.

The Dutchman is looking to add a defensive midfielder to his squad and Neves has become a prime target.

Neves may be too expensive

Unlike other English clubs, Liverpool are not under terrible financial pressure heading into the transfer market, but spending more than £100 million on a single player may be too big an ask.

The Reds are also expected to look for a winger and they have done so Linked with West Ham's Mohammed Kudus. His transfer could see them shell out around £80m.

Similarly, Arsenal and Manchester United may also be taken aback by a move for Neves. Arsenal, like Liverpool, may be hesitant to spend an exorbitant sum of money on a single position and other areas also need to be strengthened.

United have made some expensive acquisitions in recent years and a £102 million release clause may be a stretch for them despite Sir Jim Ratcliffe's injection of funds into the club.

Benfica's insistence on wanting £102.3m could mean PSG remains Joao Neves' only realistic option, at least in this summer's transfer window.

While he is very expensive, he is a generational talent and could be a big loss for Premier League teams if they fail to sign him this summer.

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