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Man Utd consider Antonio Silva as ideal candidate to strengthen their defence

Manchester United have identified Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva as the ‘ideal’ candidate to strengthen their defence this summer, according to Fichajes.

The Red Devils have been defensively inconsistent over the campaign. The hierarchy are bound to look for reinforcements during the next transfer window.

United have been closely watching Silva in several games for Benfica this term, and Fichajes claim that he is the ‘top defensive target’ ahead of next season.

The Red Devils are already ‘stepping up their efforts’ to sign the talented centre-back. They are ‘expected’ to make a ‘decisive move’ for the Portuguese star.

Silva currently has a €100 million release clause in his Benfica contract. United are likely to face competition from other European clubs for his services.

Silva could be Raphael Varane’s successor at United

Raphael Varane has had an injury-plagued career at United. He could head for the exit door when his €397,000-a-week contract expires at the end of June.

The club have decided against triggering a one-year extension clause in his deal and it looks likely that he will walk away on a free transfer during the summer.

In our opinion, Silva would be a perfect successor to Varane. The 20-year-old has a sublime passing accuracy of 93 per cent in the Primeira Liga this term.

He has won a stunning 68 per cent of his duels alongside 2.4 tackles and 3.3 clearances per game. He has also made 6.6 recoveries per outing, losing possession only 5.1 times.

Silva has all the hallmarks to become a world-class centre-back in future. United may be interested, but they may have to pay a premium fee to prise him away.

Benfica could hold out for his buy-out clause. It is left to be seen whether the club can afford Silva. Player sales could be required before the huge outlay on him.

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