Manchester United’s midfield was one of their strongest sides last season following the arrival of Casemiro from Real Madrid for a whopping £70 million.

The Brazilian was excellent with his coverage of the back four, as he cut the ball in and recovered the ball almost at will, while his understated pass allowed the Red Devils to counter effectively.

Fans were overjoyed at the Brazilian’s impact as the club ended their six-year trophy drought and also qualified for the Champions League. The future looked bright with Erik ten Haag at the helm and the 32-year-old in the engine room.

But unfortunately the good times didn’t last too long as the Dutchman opted for a high transition style which meant the defensive midfielder was forced to cover more space and struggled to compete due to a lack of pace.

Casemir’s struggles

Injuries have not helped the Brazil international as he struggled to make a comeback and was often seen sliding into challenges in an attempt to avoid the former.

It’s clear to see that the five-time Champions League winner is not the force he once was and INEOS want to move him on and take his huge wages off the books. There is interest from Italy, Turkey and Saudi clubs.

The Red Devils are looking for a younger replacement, and one name that has been constantly linked with a move to the Theater of Dreams is Benfica sensation Joao Neves.

The 19-year-old has been a revelation for Benfica, who want to keep him for another year, but judging by the interest he is generating, a move away this summer looks likely.

Neves is perfect for United

The Portugal international is a better passer of the ball than Casemiro, and has won more crosses and crosses than the United midfielder, while yet to make a mistake that would lead to a goal (via fbref).

The Portuguese giants value the teenage sensation at £100m and according to TBR Football, Arsenal have now joined the race as they look for the perfect match for Declan Rice.

“TBR Football understands that Arsenal have added Joao Neves to their list of midfield options and have intensified their pursuit of him over the past six weeks.

“Neves is a player who is constantly being watched by many Premier League clubs, and Manchester United have been confirmed by fans of the 19-year-old.

“TBR has been told that Arsenal scouts have been in attendance to see Benfica three times in the last month and Neves has been at the center of their attention.”

Arsenal want Neves

It would be terrifying for other English teams if the Gunners get their hands on Neves. They can also offer the youngster a chance to play in the Champions League unlike the Old Trafford side.

However, United have been in contact with Neves’ representatives for a longer time and laid the groundwork for a potential deal with Benfica, even being forced to make a statement earlier in the season that no pre-contract had been reached with the English giant.

The Portuguese sensation would have little trouble getting regular minutes at Old Trafford compared to the Emirates where Mikel Arteta has plenty of firepower while not even being their main target.

In other words, a move to United makes more sense and INEOS should do everything to ensure it lands in Manchester instead of North London.

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