Manchester United sent scouts to monitor Benfica’s teenage prospect Antonio Silva when the Primeira Liga side faced Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on October 5, according to Mirror.
Silva has caught the eye of the Red Devils after an impressive start to the season for the Lisbon side.
He kept Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar relatively quiet during Benfica’s 1-1 draw with the Ligue 1 side on October 4.
Manchester United are in the hunt for a quality young defender next summer, and the Portuguese teenager is lined up.
Silva’s current deal at the Estadio da Luz runs until 2027, but his deal has a £13million release clause.
The Portuguese is set to become a revelation, with fellow countryman current Manchester City defender Ruben Dias even demanding a shirt signed by the teenager.
If Silva follows in Dias’ footsteps in the Premier League with United, Red Devils fans will be excited about the prospect.
Dias joined City from Benfica in 2020 for £64.4m and has been a mainstay in Pep Guardiola’s defence.
He made 100 appearances and won the Premier League title twice while being named PFA ‘Player of the Year’ in 2021.
The state of play for current Manchester United defenders
With Manchester United keeping tabs on Silva, question marks ensue over the current crop of defenders available to Erik ten Hag.
The Red Devils boss has found a formidable duo with Raphaël Varane and Lisandro Martinez at the start of the season.
The duo became the Dutch tactician’s regular starting centre-back and impressed alongside each other.
Both can expect to be United players next summer given Varane’s form and the fact that Martinez only arrived at Old Trafford in July from Ajax for £51.6m sterling.
Meanwhile, speculation has grown over Harry Maguire’s situation at Manchester United.
The Red Devils captain has been replaced by Varane in the United XI and has made just five appearances in all competitions.
In all the matches he started for Ten Hag’s team, they came out on the losing side.
Victor Lindelof’s future is uncertain as he too has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
The Swede has made three appearances and Galatasaray and Sevilla are said to be watching his situation closely.
Phil Jones is still awaiting his first appearance of the campaign and is surely heading for the exit door with his contract next summer.
Axel Tuanzebe is also out of contract next summer and is currently injured but does not appear to be in Ten Hag’s plans.