Liverpool have shown an interest in signing highly-rated Benfica midfielder Joao Neves, but a new update has now dropped regarding his future.
The Reds’ midfield underwent major surgery during the summer transfer window, with ageing players such as Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner replaced by the younger legs of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch.
It has proved to be a big success, with Szoboszlai proving to be a particularly strong signing, and the changes have helped Liverpool sit second in the Premier League table after 12 matches.
That doesn’t mean that the midfield signings should stop there, however, especially with the lack of a top-class No.6 arguably proving to be an issue at the moment, and the Merseysiders have been linked with a move for Neves in recent days.
According to Record [via Sport Witness], however, the 19-year-old will be a tough man to sign any time soon, with the report stating that he could remain at Benfica until “at least” the end of the 2024/25 season. If anyone wants to acquire his signature before then, they will have to trigger his €120m (£104.2m) release clause.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal are named as being clubs who are interested in completing the signing of Neves, but it could be a difficult piece of business to get done.
The teenager is contracted with Benfica until the summer of 2028, highlighting how the Portuguese giants are in no rush to sell him, knowing that they can demand huge money for the foreseeable future.
Our thoughts on Liverpool signing Joao Neves…
While it clearly looks as though Liverpool will have to bide their time when it comes to signing Neves, he looks like a brilliant option to eventually come in and boost their midfield options.
At just 19, he has already become an important squad player for Benfica, making 11 appearances in the Primeira Liga this season, eight of which have been starts.
Neves has completed 90.6% of his passes in that time, showing what a strong technical player he is in the middle of the park, and he also has one goal and assist apiece in the league.
Predominantly a defensive midfielder, the one-cap Portugal international could be seen as the long-term answer as the No.6 at Anfield, blossoming into an elite player in that position over the years.
It will be interesting to see if Liverpool are tempted to trigger Neves’ release clause, but it would be a significant amount of money to pay for such a young player.