Former Man Utd midfielder warns Joao Neves against summer transfer

  • Nemanja Matic has advised Joao Neves against a move to Old Trafford this summer
  • Matic believes it is 'too early' for the youngster to leave Benfica
  • Neves has been linked with both Manchester United and Arsenal
Matic believes Neves should remain at Benfica
Matic believes Neves should remain at Benfica / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Former Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has warned Portugal star Joao Neves to reject a move to Old Trafford this summer and instead develop his career at Benfica.

19-year-old wonderkid Neves has been on the radar of many top clubs this season. He has so far featured in 50 fixtures across all competitions, impressing in both the Champions League and Liga Portugal especially.

Manchester United are among the many suitors of Neves, who is expected to command a huge fee when he does eventually leave Benfica, but fellow midfielder Matic believes that Neves is at the right club, and should not rush to the Premier League.

Speaking to O Jogo on Benfica's talented youngster, Matic said: "He is fantastic. At just 19 years old, he is a fantastic player. He is the future of Benfica. Of course he has interested some Premier League clubs too. I really like these types of players, who are young but play with a lot of maturity.

"I think it's too early for him to take that step of leaving. If I were him, I would stay at Benfica for a few more years to play in the Champions League and to mature more. I'm sure his time will come and, therefore, he doesn't need to rush.

Nemanja Matic
Matic made 183 appearances for United / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

"Joao is already at a big club at this point. I'm sure his future at Benfica will be very good. I think it's too early to leave, but of course, in the end, it's always his decision."

Matic, now 35, made 183 appearances for United after leaving Chelsea in 2017 for £31m. He spent four years at Old Trafford before departing for Roma in 2021. He joined Rennes in 2023 and made the switch to Lyon in January.

It was with Benfica that Matic first made his name and the Serbian international believes Neves, who only made his senior debut last season, should follow his lead and wait before making the move to England.