Manchester United have made Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva their top target as the club look to sign a defender.
Silva broke into the Benfica team last season as the Portuguese side were crowned Primeira Liga champions for the first time in four seasons, with the 20-year-old named in the divisional Team of the Year for his performances.
Manchester United are among a number of clubs to have tracked his progress and Sky Germany are reporting that the Red Devils have made Silva their ‘top target’ for next summer’s transfer window.
Erik ten Hag wants to bring in a central defender, amid uncertainty surrounding the long-term futures of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane. Maguire has returned to favour in recent weeks, but was removed as club captain last summer. United also accepted an offer from West Ham for England international.
Lindelof will have just a year remaining on his contract next summer, while Varane has been linked with an exit after falling out of favour of late.
Silva is viewed as a long-term solution at centre-back and has a release clause of €100m (£86m) in his contract at The Estádio da Luz that will become active at the end of the season. Benfica expect the defender to depart.
Silva has already won seven caps for Portugal at international level and has forged a reputation as a ball-playing centre-back. He has completed 91.8% of his passes across the last 12 months, ranking him in the 99th percentile of central defenders outside of Europe’s big five leagues.