Manchester United send scouts to watch Benfica teenager Joao Neves

The 19-year-old is on the Red Devils' radar.

Manchester United send scouts to watch Benfica teenager Joao Neves
SL Benfica v Casa Pia AC - Liga Portugal Bwin
Joao Neves is already a regular in the Benfica starting XI at 19 years old (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester United scouts were in attendance as Benfica beat Sporting 2-1 at the weekend, there to watch 19-year-old Joao Neves who scored the first of his side’s two goals.

The teenager has risen to prominence at Benfica since Enzo Fernandez left for Chelsea in January, making 17 league appearances last season and 11 already this campaign.

The midfielder is not known for his goal-scoring, but his stoppage time strike in the Lisbon derby on Sunday levelled things up, before Casper Tengstedt scored an even later winner for Benfica.

The Red Devils were credited with an interest in the youngster over the summer, as were Chelsea, but while a bid didn’t materialise, Manchester United are clearly still thinking of Neves.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports that scouts for the Premier League giants were at the game in Lisbon over the weekend as they continue to monitor his progress.

However, no bids will come from Old Trafford until the uncertainty at board level is resolved. Jim Ratcliffe’s investment into the club is still expected to happen, but progress is slow and nothing has been confirmed as yet.

Ratcliffe and his team from Ineos are expected to take charge of footballing decisions at Manchester United, so little will be resolved before they arrive officially.

SL Benfica v Sporting CP - Liga Portugal Bwin
Neves scored a huge goal in a dramatic 2-1 win for Benfica over Sporting at the weekend (Picture: Getty Images)

Benfica boss Roger Schmidt has spoken in glowing terms about his young star, saying: ‘It was a surprise last season, now I know him, but it shows that he is very special from the first day he trains with the team. He is very complete, he is top from a technical point of view, he is very intelligent and physical, despite being small, he is good at winning balls in duels

‘The most extraordinary thing is the quality of his football, it is a great example of the work that can be done with young players at Seixal, it is a way of showing that Benfica can buy players and at the same time being able to develop young players in the academy. One of the special things that Benfica has is to train players as special as Joao Neves.’

MORE : Chelsea star Cole Palmer explains altercation with former teammate Erling Haaland

MORE : Brighton set huge asking price for Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham target Evan Ferguson

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.