Romano: United add 19 y/o wonderkid to three-man shortlist as Ten Hag eyes marquee centre-back signing

Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Manchester United are planning a ‘major’ defensive signing in 2024, and that they have drawn up a three-man shortlist of potential options. 

He states (via his Daily Briefing with CaughtOffside) that Antonio Silva, Jean-Clair Todibo and Edmond Tapsoba are three candidates who could be approached by the Red Devils in an upcoming transfer window.

United aren’t short of players at centre-back this season, however, concerns are being constantly flagged as the term progresses regarding their suitability; Lisandro Martinez faces an extended spell on the sidelines with an aggravation of his previous foot injury, while Raphael Varane is prone to fitness issues and has missed numerous key games since signing for the club in 2021.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof aren’t the most highly-rated pairing when deployed alongside one another, and 35-year-old Jonny Evans is likely to leave when his contract expires in June.

Consequently, the Manchester outfit is seeking a young, proven player to bolster the squad.

United eyeing Benfica starlet

Silva, 19, has been a stalwart at Benfica and played a key role in the side’s league-winning campaign in 2022/2023. He made his Portugal debut in the same season during the winter World Cup.

The teenager is being targeted by Real Madrid as well as United, who have sent scouts to watch him on numerous occasions.

Antonio Silva in action for Benfica

Benfica will want to recuperate the highest fee possible to sanction the exit of their academy graduate though, which could throw a spanner in the works for any interested clubs.

Romano said: “Antonio Silva is a player they really like, but to negotiate with Benfica is always complicated”.

More Stories Antonio Silva Benfica Edmond Tapsoba Jean-Clair Todibo Manchester United