Manchester United have identified an overseas defender as their number one target ahead of next summer, but a reliable journalist has revealed that it won’t be cheap to bring him to the Premier League.
Man United’s current backline options
The Red Devils have Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans as their natural options at centre-back as it stands, but there’s a chance that at least two of them could be heading for the exit door in the near future.
Both Lindelof and Evans will have reached the expiration of their deals at the end of the season (Man United contracts), so should they not put pen to paper on fresh terms, Erik ten Hag will have to enter the market to find suitable replacements in case they depart.
Man Utd identify “massive” Premier League “tank” as No.1 January target
He will be hoping to feature prominently at Euro 2024.
Benfica’s Antonio Silva has worked his way through his club’s various youth ranks to get promoted to their first-team, where he’s so far made a total of 61 senior appearances to date (Transfermarkt – Silva statistics), and his recent form has caught the eye of chiefs.
The Old Trafford side have sent scouts to watch the Portugal international on several occasions this season, and whilst recent reports claim that Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi is the club’s top target for January, the 20-year-old is the player wanted later in 2024.
Man United want Antonio Silva in summer 2024
Taking to X, Sky Sports reporter Florian Plettenberg revealed that Man United’s number one candidate is Silva, but with a hefty release clause to his name, the hierarchy will have to empty their pockets should they want to get a deal over the line next summer.
He wrote: “News Antonio Silva: The 20 y/o central defender from SL Benfica is the absolutely top target for ManUtd for summer 2024!
“#MUFC already keen on contract details and the plans of the top talent €100m [£86m] release clause next year! Benfica expect him to leave the club next summer. Contract until 2027. He completes nearly 94% of his passes.”
Ten Hag could land “hero” in Silva
Standing at 6 foot 1, Silva provides a real physical presence at the heart of a backline, which he’s proven so far this season as he’s currently averaging 3.6 clearances and 2.8 tackles per game in Liga Portugal (WhoScored – Silva statistics).
The Viseu native is also extremely calm and composed in possession, where he’s recording an outstanding 93.7% pass success rate, so he’s not only strong getting rid of the danger but also when he has the ball at his feet, controlling the game from the back.
Antonio Silva’s Style Of Play
Antonio Silva’s Strengths
Antonio Silva’s Weaknesses
Likes to tackle
Player has no significant weaknesses
Commits fouls often
(Data via WhoScored)
Benfica’s “hero”, as dubbed by football scout Jacek Kulig, has had a taste of what it’s like to be successful having secured three pieces of silverware during his time with Roger Schmidt’s side, so he’ll possess the winning mentality required to succeed at Man United.