Manchester United have been repeatedly linked with a move for João Neves in recent weeks, in claims which go back quite some way.

The Red Devils scout nearly every Benfica match so will have seen the young midfielder progress with the Lisbon club and become one of the most highly rated 19-year-olds in world football.

Whilst the youngster’s talent isn’t in question, what had made a Manchester United deal feel unlikely, or certainly very difficult, is his price tag.

João Neves is protected by a €120m clause, which would obviously be an issue.

Tuesday’s edition of Portuguese newspaper Record reports Manchester United have offered €60m for the midfielder, which was rejected immediately by Benfica director Rui Costa.

However, here’s the interesting bit… Record say Costa wouldn’t open negotiations ‘for a sum below €100m’, which is already €20m from the €120m clause.

Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, PSG and Bayern Munich are all credited with interest, yet how real that is or how much it’s to put pressure on Manchester United is unclear.

Regardless, even Record say the Red Devils are ‘further along’, given they’ve already presented this €60m offer.

The Portuguese newspaper add: ‘By rejecting the €60m offer, Rui Costa’s message to the market is clear: he will only give up João Neves’ talent in exchange for a 3-digit check worth millions.’

Maybe it’s not that clear. Before today there’d been a repeat insistence that it would have to be €120m, and now that has dropped, so who is to say whether €90m could do the trick?