Manchester United are ‘very interested’ in signing Benfica defender Antonio Silva, according to Portuguese publication O Jogo (page 13).
The Red Devils were much fancied to sign a marquee centre-back during the summer transfer window but they could not afford one in the end.
The club were aiming to offload Harry Maguire to recoup most of the funds, but the former captain made the decision to stay put with them.
United continue to be linked with central defenders and it is reported that they are ‘very attentive’ to the performances of Silva this season.
Erik ten Hag’s side are willing to pay the €100 million release clause in his contract. He is one of the top names on their transfer shortlist.
United could swoop for Silva next summer
The Red Devils have been defensively poor this campaign and they have already conceded 33 goals.
This is currently their worst defensive record in nearly six decades, but the club are unlikely to spend big during the winter transfer window.
Keeping the Financial Fair Play situation in mind, the hierarchy don’t have the freedom to spend €100m without player sales in January.
For the summer, Silva could be a realistic option for the Red Devils but they will need to beat competition from the likes of Real Madrid.
Silva is one of the best young centre-backs in world football. This season, he has a passing accuracy of 94 per cent in the Primeira Liga.
He has won 2.8 tackles and 5.6 duels per game, making more than three clearances.
The 20-year-old averages seven recoveries and has been dispossessed just 4.7 times per outing.
Silva has completed just one year in senior football, but he has shown plenty of maturity and looks ready to take up a bigger challenge.
United will be hoping that he chooses them. They may need Champions League football to boost their chances of landing his services.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com
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