Former Player Warns Man United Summer Target Against Move to Old Trafford

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Former Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic says Joao Neves, a target for the Red Devils, should stay at Benfica instead of making a “too early” move to Old Trafford or anywhere else.

Matic spent three years as a player for Benfica between two stints at Chelsea. He then joined United in 2017 under Jose Mourinho and played there for five years.

Neves, 19, had a breakout season last year and has since become a regular in the Benfica first team. Many top European clubs have shown interest in signing the teenager, including United.

But Benfica denied having any discussions about a possible transfer with the Premier League club in January. Keeping the young player has allowed Benfica’s squad to finish second in the Primeira Liga, and Matic believes Neves would be better off staying put for now.

Matic’s comments differ a bit from those of United captain Bruno Fernandes, who plays for Portugal with Neves. Fernandes hinted that the teenager is ready for the next stage of his club career.

Neves earned his first senior Portugal caps in 2023, playing as a substitute in the final three Euro 2024 qualifying matches. He also featured in two March friendlies – a win against Sweden and a loss to Slovenia.