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Manchester United interested in signing 19-year-old centre-back with three Portugal caps

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Antonio Silva is an up-and-coming star at SL Benfica.

Manchester United are interested in signing SL Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva

According to journalist Ekrem Konur (h/t Manchester Evening News), Manchester United are keen to sign SL Benfica’s talented young centre-back Antonio Silva. Real Madrid, PSG, Liverpool, Juventus and Napoli have also been linked with him.

Silva’s rise to prominence has been nothing short of remarkable with the teenager playing a key role for Roger Schmidt’s team in their impressive season.

Benfica are still in the race for the league title while their wonderful journey in the UEFA Champions League came to an end in the quarter-finals.

Silva has earned plaudits for the manner in which he has taken to senior football as the defender was plying his trade with Benfica’s reserve team just a season back. The 19-year-old has already earned three senior caps for Portugal’s senior team.

Real Madrid and Manchester United have "sent scouts" to watch SL Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva.
Manchester United want SL Benfica center-back Antonio Silva. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

A host of top European clubs are monitoring his progress with the Portuguese club with an intent to sign the young prodigy in the future, with United being one of them.

Compared to Manchester City defender and his national teammate Ruben Dias, Silva has the potential to go to the very top and with good development, he can be a force to reckon with in the coming years.

Currently, he has a contract with Benfica until 2027, leaving the Portuguese club with no urgency to sell the player and only a huge fee might see them part ways with the defender.

United, on the other hand, are in the market for a central defender to add to the squad’s depth. While Raphael Varane is indeed a Rolls Royce of a defender, his constant injury issues are becoming a bit of a problem.

Raphael Varane credits "confidence" and "discipline" for Manchester United success this season.
Raphael Varane could be the perfect mentor for Antonio Silva (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

In the Frenchman’s absence, the deputies in Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf are just not up to the mark and while it would be tough to let two defenders go, it is presumed that one of the pair would be let off in the summer.

Hence the need for a top replacement and someone who with the right coaching could develop even further. Silva provides just that.

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One can imagine that the likes of Phil Jones and Teden Mengi just don’t have a future here. Silva, still just a teenager, can be an ideal addition to the ranks to coach over the years and prepare as a potential successor for Varane or Maguire in the first team.