Manchester United report: Wonderkid defender to make huge move next summer, with contract being prepared: report

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between F.C. Copenhagen and Manchester United at Parken Stadium on November 08, 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
(Image credit: James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Manchester United are working on a deal for a new defender – who would instantly upgrade the backline.

The Red Devils have been forced into playing the likes of Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans in the centre of defence this season, who began the campaign way down the pecking order. Injuries to the likes of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, however, have forced Erik ten Hag's hand, with new investment needed in this position.

With plenty of names linked with a move to Old Trafford, one potential star has emerged as one of the easier deals for Manchester United to complete.

Harry Maguire applauds the Manchester United fans after victory at Sheffield United in October 2023.

Harry Maguire has been drafted into defence (Image credit: Getty Images)

According to Florian Plettenburg of Sky Germany, Benfica wonderkid Antonio Silva is the top target for United, with a contract being prepared. 

The Portuguese is available for £85 million next summer, with the Eagles resigned to losing the star when bigger clubs come knocking. A release clause such as this, however, presents an opportunity for Man United to get a contract sorted for the 20-year-old without having to worry about negotiating a fee.

Liverpool have been interested in Silva, too, who is tipped to become one of the best centre-backs on Earth. 

Antonio Silva of SL Benfica during the Liga Portugal Betclic match between SL Benfica and Vitoria Guimaraes at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on September 2, 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Antonio Silva is wanted by Manchester United (Image credit: Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano previously confirmed the interest in Silva in his Daily Briefing

"I told you United were already scouting some players such as Antonio Silva from Benfica, who’s considered a super talented centre-back. Staying in Portugal, a Sporting player called Goncalo Inacio who is left-footed and a different kind of centre-back, more technical than fast, is being looked at," he said.

More Manchester United stories

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid and France star Antoine Griezmann. Meanwhile, a former Barcelona defender could potentially be on his way to Old Trafford.

Almost half a year after leaving Manchester United as a free agent, David de Gea could be close to sealing a move to a new club. Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag has defended his training methods as the injuries pile up – with Mason Mount the latest player set for a spell on the sidelines.

Is Raphael Varane poised to leave Old Trafford? The defender's relationship with Ten Hag appears to have become strained. And a bargain deal for a Serie A striker might also be in the offing.

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