Joao Neves

Himannv

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I thought a lot of that was down to Casemiro being immobile/not giving a feck. Once we started playing Amrabat next to Mainoo, we were less open through the middle as we had a midfielder who was both defensively disciplined and willing to cover more ground. Bruno and Mainoo as 8s in front of a mobile 6 next season can be effective.
It's not only about immobility but also positioning discipline. Carrick wasn't the most mobile but he read the game and made sure he positioned himself in front of the back 4 in the spot the attack was likely to come through. Rodri is similar. I think we both agree though - we need someone who will play as a 6, not an 8.
 

Gabriel Djemba-Bebe

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It's not only about immobility but also positioning discipline. Carrick wasn't the most mobile but he read the game and made sure he positioned himself in front of the back 4 in the spot the attack was likely to come through. Rodri is similar. I think we both agree though - we need someone who will play as a 6, not an 8.
Very true. As @romufc pointed out, Casemiro would go diving into tackles that were 70/30 in the opposition's favour. Amabat's positional discipline was what helped us win the cup final. Sign a younger, more mobile version of Amrabat to play as a 6 and you've got a very good midfield 3 with them, Mainoo and Bruno.
 

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Very true. As @romufc pointed out, Casemiro would go diving into tackles that were 70/30 in the opposition's favour. Amabat's positional discipline was what helped us win the cup final. Sign a younger, more mobile version of Amrabat to play as a 6 and you've got a very good midfield 3 with them, Mainoo and Bruno.
Exactly. Also everyone seems really keen on having a DM who can just defend but really you look at Rodri, he isnt this amazing cover all areas DM, he is clever and a very good passer of the ball.

The prime Barca side had Busquets, these players are / were just very intelligent, knowing where to be and playing the right pass.

The way the game is going, most managers now invert a full back into 3 so there is some cover. Having 2 midfielders that can do both 6/8 would be fine with a 10. one can attack one can defend, they dont need to be told, only you defend and you attack.

It will bring fluidity to our game and one big thing having Neves and Mainoo, will be their ability to turn and drive.
 

Syphon Wallet

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I'd be happy for us to move away from the 4-2-3-1 with him in it and adopt the 4-3-1-2 ala Madrid.

Onana
Dalot - XXX - Martinez - Shaw
Neves - XXX - Mainoo
Bruno
Hojlund - Garnacho​
This is a good shout, our wing play is absolutely dreadful... This might play more to our strengths
 

Leftback99

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Pretty sure we won't be buying anyone this summer for the type of money he would cost.
 

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I have ZERO idea about what type of player he is.

Can someone give me a combination of players he is most like?
Tenacious, relentless, all-action, quick-thinking, technical, huge tank, superb combination play, vast passing range, superfluous first touch, great acceleration, good top speed.

He has the lot, and if he continues along his current trajectory, he’ll be one of the top midfielders of his generation.

Can be compared on the industry side with anyone who has that pit-bull about them. Some have said Herrera, but he’s a lot more talented than him. Davids, Gattusso and that kind of player for the constant bite and nuisance, but in terms of technicality, much more refined and decisive than the typical pitbull.

His all-action style has some believe he cannot sit, but rather than that, it’s probably a fair comment to say he’s got that abundance of energy more associative of a true box-to-box #8, and from there, it might be fair to say it’s suboptimal for him to sit, rather than him being incapable of doing so.


The compilations are a good representation of his actual game. People are kidding themselves if they think we can get him for cheap. He’s a player that you could see Madrid looking at to complete their new midfield once Modric goes.
 

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I'd be happy for us to move away from the 4-2-3-1 with him in it and adopt the 4-3-1-2 ala Madrid.

Onana
Dalot - XXX - Martinez - Shaw
Neves - XXX - Mainoo
Bruno
Hojlund - Garnacho​
Would you not need to add another goal scorer like Rashford in there as well? You'd basically need that front 6 to at least double their goal output of last season, and it wouldn't come from an increase in set pieces id say.
 

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Would you not need to add another goal scorer like Rashford in there as well? You'd basically need that front 6 to at least double their goal output of last season, and it wouldn't come from an increase in set pieces id say.
Assuming we remained injury free and form picked up (a massive assumption of course) then I'd back Bruno, Hojlund and Garnacho to score more next season. Bruno had a good end to the year, Hojlund looks like he'll have streaks like Rooney used to and Garnacho will have another year of experience to back him up.

A stable midfield and more chance creation could easily come if we get the right people in and we sort out whatever the feck our training and fitness staff are doing.

All big if's though and that's before you consider whether Rashford can be arsed at all.
 

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The compilation videos make him look rapid, he's got a low centre of gravity so hard to battle with and he's got ridiculously quick feet.

Him and Mainoo silking up the midfield with a bruiser/holder in behind them would be amazing, genuinely.

We've gotta go get him for whatever it costs.
 

luke511

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Our biggest problem last season was how open we were through the middle. Even with a dedicated DM like Casemiro, it was kind of easy to bypass us.

Bruno is at his best when he's closer to goal so he'll gravitate forward whether we have the ball or not so support from him is inconsistent. Mainoo is really a B2B midfielder w2ith more offensive contributions so he's not going to be playing deeper always. If you throw in another player of the same ilk in midfield we'll be getting overrun every now and then like we were this whole season.

What we need in my view is a Rodri or Carrick type who can shield the back 4 but also get on the ball and create. With some support from Mainoo and occasionally Bruno, that'd be the ideal setup I think although it's a bit hard to find players of that ilk.
As you say, playing with a lone pivot left us massively open, due to the positioning of the other two midfielders, especially Bruno. We need a double pivot to add positional balance, that requires having two midfielders that have the skill set to play as a 6 or an 8, not just as a 6, due to the rotation between the two covering for Bruno’s freedom. You mention we need a Carrick type that gets on the ball and creates, Neves has the passing and positional ability to play as a Carrick, but also the tenacity to tackle like Kante and the ability to dribble through players like Modric, lower in level as all those specialists currently, but he can do it all which is what makes him a great solution to what we need next to Mainoo. Mainoo has to play as a 6 at times in a Bruno midfield, which he did all last season, otherwise it'll be too much for the other midfielder.
 
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Redstain

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I'd be happy for us to move away from the 4-2-3-1 with him in it and adopt the 4-3-1-2 ala Madrid.

Onana
Dalot - XXX - Martinez - Shaw
Neves - XXX - Mainoo
Bruno
Hojlund - Garnacho​
I think this is a good recommendation, especially where the wide players have been poor all season for the second consecutive campaign.

Diamond midfield with someone who can screen the two center backs, the only issue is Erik wouldn't be capable of playing this system given how United utilize the press from the wide areas to the central midfield.

It's a good idea but will require a more tactically affluent coach.
 

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The compilation videos make him look rapid, he's got a low centre of gravity so hard to battle with and he's got ridiculously quick feet.

Him and Mainoo silking up the midfield with a bruiser/holder in behind them would be amazing, genuinely.

We've gotta go get him for whatever it costs.
More than his speed, his intuitive movement and ability to track is what really presents a problem. Allied to his low centre of gravity, it gives him a real advantage in tussles and scrambles. Not only can he win the ball, he can turn away and accelerate into space before releasing it, and that’s invaluable in the midfield battle, especially with another skilled manipulator of the ball in close proximity.

Mainoo can’t track and press like Neves, but you have a real fire and ice combination there by default.
 

croadyman

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More than his speed, his intuitive movement and ability to track is what really presents a problem. Allied to his low centre of gravity, it gives him a real advantage in tussles and scrambles. Not only can he win the ball, he can turn away and accelerate into space before releasing it, and that’s invaluable in the midfield battle, especially with another skilled manipulator of the ball in close proximity.

Mainoo can’t track and press like Neves, but you have a real fire and ice combination there by default.
What would you consider a fair price to pay?
 

Fortitude

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What would you consider a fair price to pay?
Depends on a few things:

- If we get a free run at the player or he only wants to come to United

- If it can be wrapped up before the Euros, or at least have a solid agreement in place

- If he has a great Euros, which could trigger interest from other parties that is lukewarm right now.

You’d imagine our current position is stating the kid doesn’t have many games under his belt; off the back of that, probably trying to offer an incentivised contract ala Martial’s. Any good agent will more likely back the kid to deliver this month and then see what offers come in. I think we’d have to offer a lot to get it done pre-tournament.
 

croadyman

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Depends on a few things:

- If we get a free run at the player or he only wants to come to United

- If it can be wrapped up before the Euros, or at least have a solid agreement in place

- If he has a great Euros, which could trigger interest from other parties that is lukewarm right now.

You’d imagine our current position is stating the kid doesn’t have many games under his belt; off the back of that, probably trying to offer an incentivised contract ala Martial’s. Any good agent will more likely back the kid to deliver this month and then see what offers come in. I think we’d have to offer a lot to get it done pre-tournament.
Yeah I can't see us being able to get a deal in place before the tournament unfortunately. I would still think that even if we weren't in managerial limbo, however we are so will have to face competition from other parties after tournament.
 

Fortitude

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Yeah I can't see us being able to get a deal in place before the tournament unfortunately. I would still think that even if we weren't in managerial limbo, however we are so will have to face competition from other parties after tournament.
He, or Portugal, could have a stinker, mind, which would strengthen our negotiating position… unlikely, but still.
 

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If you’re looking for a fair fee from Benfica you’re looking in the wrong place.

However depending on our budget if you can get him for south of £60m then that’s quite a deal and something seriously worth considering in terms of long term squad building.

I believe he’s rejected a contract offer from Benfica.
 

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Depends on a few things:

- If we get a free run at the player or he only wants to come to United

- If it can be wrapped up before the Euros, or at least have a solid agreement in place

- If he has a great Euros, which could trigger interest from other parties that is lukewarm right now.

You’d imagine our current position is stating the kid doesn’t have many games under his belt; off the back of that, probably trying to offer an incentivised contract ala Martial’s. Any good agent will more likely back the kid to deliver this month and then see what offers come in. I think we’d have to offer a lot to get it done pre-tournament.
75m and I'm happy honestly. Don't really care if he doesn't "fit" right into a 2024 starting XI, him and Mainoo is a foundation you build an entire squad around and win titles. Especially with how young he is, people are foolish to wonder about how he "fits" into next year's team.
 

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If you’re looking for a fair fee from Benfica you’re looking in the wrong place.

However depending on our budget if you can get him for south of £60m then that’s quite a deal and something seriously worth considering in terms of long term squad building.

I believe he’s rejected a contract offer from Benfica.
Isn't his release clause around £105m?
 

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Isn't his release clause around £105m?
Can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s not important in this deal.

We won’t pay it. I don’t any club in world football can with PSR/FFP.

Benfica also has plenty of very highly rated young players coming through in the next season or mainly:
  • Rego
  • Veloso (who is important as they will want to open a pathway for him)
So I can see them being motivated sellers this season.
 

Withnail

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Can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s not important in this deal.

We won’t pay it. I don’t any club in world football can with PSR/FFP.

Benfica also has plenty of very highly rated young players coming through in the next season or mainly:
  • Rego
  • Veloso (who is important as they will want to open a pathway for him)
So I can see them being motivated sellers this season.
Fair enough. Even better if you're right. He looks to have a bit of everything from the clips.

Has he played any team of a higher standard than Portugese opposition yet? I'd be interested to see how he holds up.
 

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Depends on a few things:

- If we get a free run at the player or he only wants to come to United

- If it can be wrapped up before the Euros, or at least have a solid agreement in place

- If he has a great Euros, which could trigger interest from other parties that is lukewarm right now.

You’d imagine our current position is stating the kid doesn’t have many games under his belt; off the back of that, probably trying to offer an incentivised contract ala Martial’s. Any good agent will more likely back the kid to deliver this month and then see what offers come in. I think we’d have to offer a lot to get it done pre-tournament.
Every big club is tracking this player so the chance of a free run is very low. Mendes is also his agent and no mug so he will have a very good understanding of the market.

My strong suspicion is that he won't move until after the Euros but I don't think his Euro performance will matter that much. The clubs with the funds to potentially buy him and potential interest in a central midfielder this summer (United, City, Arsenal, maybe Bayern or Liverpool) are not clubs likely to be swayed that much by performance in an international tournament.

At the end of the day, I think United's best chance of buying him is if Benfica actually hold to the release clause or close. Because if the true price is substantially lower, a club currently more attractive than United to the player is probably going to get involved.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Every big club is tracking this player so the chance of a free run is very low. Mendes is also his agent and no mug so he will have a very good understanding of the market.

My strong suspicion is that he won't move until after the Euros but I don't think his Euro performance will matter that much. The clubs with the funds to potentially buy him and potential interest in a central midfielder this summer (United, City, Arsenal, maybe Bayern or Liverpool) are not clubs likely to be swayed that much by performance in an international tournament.

At the end of the day, I think United's best chance of buying him is if Benfica actually hold to the release clause or close. Because if the true price is substantially lower, a club currently more attractive than United to the player is probably going to get involved.
Who can afford him, needs him, and can offer him a large role worthy of moving for?
 

Powderfinger

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Who can afford him, needs him, and can offer him a large role worthy of moving for?
I think it depends how much he costs to be honest.

City want to sign a 6/8 player this summer to rotate with Rodri and Kovacic, as both Nunes and Phillips have been busts. My guess is that Pep would probably prefer a more experienced player to help him win titles in his (presumably) last year, but others within the hierarchy might be looking to start the process of refreshing the squad. They are reportedly at least thinking about triggering Bruno G's 100m release clause so the money is there.

Arsenal also want to sign a CM this summer to replace Partey, with a little more uncertainty about whether they want more of a 6 or more of an 8. We were heavily linked to Zubimendi, but that has gone cold with him rumored to want to stay at Sociedad. We were also heavily linked with Bruno G, but reports are that we will not pay anywhere near the 100m of his release clause. Douglas Luiz seemed like another possibility but he is seemingly off to Juve. Reliable journos have said we aren't interested in Onana. I think Arteta probably prefers a more experienced player than Neves because he wants to keep pushing for the title next year. But its not clear who that more experienced player would be at this point.

Bayern clearly want to sign a CM/DM given all the reports about Palhinha. Maybe that gets done but if Fulham hold out for too much money they may look elsewhere. Not sure whether they could go big enough on the fee to compete for Neves though.

Liverpool tried to spend 110m on Caicedo last summer and ended up spending 10m on Endo instead. I think they have other priorities this summer but the deeper lying midfield spots still look a bit tenuous in their squad so you never know.

For different reasons, its hard for me to see any of these clubs spending 100m on Neves. But if the price was 70-80m, I think there could be some action. Especially if you take Luiz and Zubimendi off the table while Newcastle refuses to sell Guimaraes for less than 100m, its not like there are a ton of great alternatives.
 
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ThierryHenry14

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For different reasons, its hard for me to see any of these clubs spending 100m on Neves. But if the price was 70-80m, I think there could be some action. Especially if you take Luiz and Zubimendi off the table while Newcastle refuses to sell Guimaraes for less than 100m, its not like there are a ton of great alternatives.
100m for Neves represents a lot of risk to many clubs. For the same money Bruno G is a much safer bet. I highly doubt Utd will have much competition for Neves.
 

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Is he more defensive than Mainoo? Think we need a solid number 6 and don’t think we can get both if we pay the money for this guy.
 

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I think it depends how much he costs to be honest.

City want to sign a 6/8 player this summer to rotate with Rodri and Kovacic, as both Nunes and Phillips have been busts. My guess is that Pep would probably prefer a more experienced player to help him win titles in his (presumably) last year, but others within the hierarchy might be looking to start the process of refreshing the squad. They are reportedly at least thinking about triggering Bruno G's 100m release clause so the money is there.

Arsenal also want to sign a CM this summer to replace Partey, with a little more uncertainty about whether they want more of a 6 or more of an 8. We were heavily linked to Zubimendi, but that has gone cold with him rumored to want to stay at Sociedad. We were also heavily linked with Bruno G, but reports are that we will not pay anywhere near the 100m of his release clause. Douglas Luiz seemed like another possibility but he is seemingly off to Juve. Reliable journos have said we aren't interested in Onana. I think Arteta probably prefers a more experienced player than Neves because he wants to keep pushing for the title next year. But its not clear who that more experienced player would be at this point.

Bayern clearly want to sign a CM/DM given all the reports about Palhinha. Maybe that gets done but if Fulham hold out for too much money they may look elsewhere. Not sure whether they could go big enough on the fee to compete for Neves though.

Liverpool tried to spend 110m on Caicedo last summer and ended up spending 10m on Endo instead. I think they have other priorities this summer but the deeper lying midfield spots still look a bit tenuous in their squad so you never know.

For different reasons, its hard for me to see any of these clubs spending 100m on Neves. But if the price was 70-80m, I think there could be some action. Especially if you take Luiz and Zubimendi off the table while Newcastle refuses to sell Guimaraes for less than 100m, its not like there are a ton of great alternatives.
I think even at a lower fee there is too much financial jiggery pokery needed to justify another PL club coming in for him.

You also have to consider the Portuguese contingent we have at the club too, the clear openness to play youth, and the opportunities our midfield options creates for him to play a significant starting role.

Personally I think he’s not the most important player in midfield for us to pursue, at least not for the short term. But long term if you plan on selling or progressing from Bruno in the next 2 years.

DM
Neves Mainoo​

Not a bad prospect really.
 

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There's no way we're spending this sort of money on one player this summer.