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Liverpool keeping close eye on Joao Neves’ performances

Liverpool have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Benfica midfielder Joao Neves during the summer transfer window, according to O Jogo (page 12).

The Merseyside giants strengthened their midfield department with Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch last summer, but the club are still looking for reinforcements.

Neves has now emerged as a top target for the Premier League club and O Jogo claim that they are keeping a close eye on the performances of the teenager ahead of an approach during the summer.

The Portuguese is currently one of the lowest earners at Benfica. The Primeira Liga giants have tried to increase his release clause from €120 million to €150m with an improved deal, but have not succeeded.

Neves’ agent Jorge Mendes has put contract talks on hold. Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are also interested in the wonderkid while United have been collecting information on him from the outset.

Liverpool can make statement with Neves signing

Liverpool spent plenty in the transfer market last summer, but they are still lacking a defensive midfielder of top quality.

Wataru Endo has done a brilliant job after a slow start to the campaign but the Japan international is 31 years of age. The Reds need to look into the future by signing a young defensive midfielder with immense quality.

Neves would be an ideal fit for the role under the next Liverpool manager. This season, the youngster has completed 90 per cent of his passes in the Portuguese top-flight, winning two tackles and 5.9 duels per appearance.

The exceptional talent has also completed 60 per cent of his dribbles, making a stunning 6.5 recoveries per outing.

He averages close to four long balls. His discipline has been superb too with just four yellow cards this term.

Liverpool can make a huge statement by securing his services ahead of PSG, Bayern and fierce rivals United. With Michael Edwards back in the ranks as a CEO, the club should be optimistic of convincing Neves to join them.

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