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Manchester United 'in pole position to sign Antonio Silva from Benfica'

Man United 'in pole position to sign Antonio Silva from Benfica'
© Reuters
Manchester United lead the race to sign Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva during this summer's transfer window, according to a report.

Manchester United are reportedly at the head of the queue to sign in-demand Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva during this summer's transfer window.

The 20-year-old's future is currently the subject of much speculation, with many of the leading clubs in world football said to be admirers of the Portugal international.

However, according to O Jogo, Man United are in pole position to secure his signature, with the Red Devils potentially having to meet the £86m release clause in his contract.

Chelsea and Real Madrid are also said to be admirers of Silva, who has scored twice in 35 appearances for Benfica during the 2023-24 campaign.

Man United have allegedly been scouting the defender throughout the season and 'know everything' about him, with the club lining up a move during this summer's transfer window.

Benfica's Antonio Silva pictured on October 25, 2022© Reuters

Silva came through the youth system at Benfica, progressing to the first team in 2022, and he has represented the Portuguese giants on 79 occasions, scoring seven goals in the process.

The Portuguese has made 14 Champions League appearances during his time with the Eagles, including four outings in the competition this term.

Man United are expected to be in the market for at least one centre-back this summer, with the futures of Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof all unclear.

Varane and Evans are both out of contract at the end of June, while Lindelof could be sold ahead of next season despite the fact that his deal was extended at the start of the year.

Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz in action with Manchester United's Victor Lindelof on February 24, 2024© Reuters

Man United also have a decision to make on Harry Maguire, who was heavily linked with a move away from the club during last summer's transfer window.

The 20-time English champions are said to have accepted an offer from West Ham United for the England international, but he turned down the chance to depart.

Maguire has worked his way back into the side this term, benefitting from Lisandro Martinez's absence for a long period, with the Argentine currently missing due to a knee problem.

Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite is also thought to be a leading target for Man United, although the club are likely to struggle to sign both the Englishman and Silva in the same transfer window due to the cost of the duo.

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