Benfica eye up Manchester United target as €8m Matic replacement

Fenerbahce midfielder Salih Ucan is reportedly wanted by Portuguese giants Benfica as they look to fill the void left by Nemanja Matic.

Serbian international Matic left the Estadio da Luz for Chelsea in January, but the Eagles failed to bring in replacement despite selling their star midfielder for £22m.

It's now thought that manager Jorge Jesus will look to spend some of that money in the summer on Matic's successor in the heart of the Benfica midfield, and Fenerbahce starlet Salih Ucan is reportedly top of the list of targets.

The 20-year-old has impressed since breaking into Ersun Yanal's side, and had already played over 25 games for Bucaspor despite being only 18 when he left for his big move to Fenerbahce. The youngster is also a mainstay of the Turkish national youth sides, having featured for the Under 15's all the way up to full setup, and is regarded as one of the top youngsters in Turkish football.

This burgeoning reputation had reportedly attracted the interest of Manchester United last summer, but were put off by a staggering £17.1m release clause in the youngster's contract, but Portuguese newspaper A Bola believes Benfica are lining up an €8m swoop - equivalent to just £6.6m.

United fans are expecting a mass overhaul of their midfield in the summer, with the current incumbents clearly not good enough to the Red Devils back into the top four, but may have had bigger names in mind than the relatively unknown Ucan. However, at just 20, he has immense potential and could be a star for years to come, showing that manager David Moyes is certainly planning for the long term.

But it seems Moyes would have to make his move pretty quickly if he is to bag Ucan, with Benfica seemingly poised to make their move at the end of the season and snatch the starlet from under United's noses.


image: © mertol

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