Bruno Fernandes has recommended an “excellent” player to Manchester United as Sir Jim Ratcliffe prepares to overhaul first-team recruitment at Old Trafford.
Ratcliffe and the Glazer family are poised to complete a deal that will see the British billionaire acquire a 25 per cent stake in the Premier League club.
The deal will cost Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group a reported £1.25bn and will see him assume control of the football operations at Old Trafford, with a view to completing a full takeover of the club in future.
He is expected to appoint a sporting director at United, with Paul Mitchell and Dougie Freedman both linked with the role.
One young player on United’s radar ahead of the January transfer window is Benfica teenager Joao Neves.
United scouts were in attendance as Benfica beat rivals Sporting 2-1 last weekend, with 19-year-old Neves scoring the first of his side’s two goals.
The midfielder has risen to prominence at the Portuguese club since Enzo Fernandez left for Chelsea in January, making 17 league appearances last season and 11 in the current campaign.
United are in the market for midfield reinforcements, withtalkSPORTclaiming earlier this month that Ratcliffe is prepared to cash in on Casemiro in January amid reported interest from Saudi Pro League clubs.
United captainFernandeswas asked about his side’s interest in Neves while away on international duty with Portugal and was quick to praise his compatriot.
“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.”
Like Casemiro, Fernandes has also been linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League, with several clubs reportedly preparing offers for the midfielder.
But the 29-year-old insists he is happy to remain at Old Trafford and has no plans on leaving mid-season.
“I’m focusing on the national team and United. I’m happy where I am,” he added.
“In the national team, we had some very good times, at Manchester United we didn’t start the way we wanted. I don’t look at rumours. I don’t pay attention to them.
“Today, it’s very easy to spread rumours in the press. I prefer to concentrate on my goals.”