With many world-class midfielders in their team it may come as a surprise that Manchester United are ready to outlay £70 million in the pursuit of a playmaker this summer.
According to The Sun, the Old Trafford club will match their £85 million spend for France striker Antoine Griezmann with a £70 million swoop for Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva.
So far this season the 22-year-old has provided six assists and scored seven goals in 30 games for the Ligue 1 outfit, including three goals in the Champions League.
The Portugal international, who has amassed ten caps since being called up in 2015, will, if he signs, likely to be seen as the key link between United’s midfield and a frontline containing Griezmann next season.
Where he would fit in is at the moment difficult to surmise though, with Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and, to a lesser extent, captain Wayne Rooney all viable options in the number ten role.
If United do splash out on another attack-minded midfielder though it is not necessarily a guarantee Silva will be included immediately given United boss Jose Mourinho’s decision to ease the £26.3 million Mkhitaryan into his team this term rather than throw him in at the deep end.
That judgement now looks to have been a masterstroke, with the Armenia international having netted three goals in the EFL Cup and two in the Premier League since being let loose by Mourinho.
At the age Silva is right now, one would expect that if he does swap the south of France for the north west of England he will be included sparingly at the beginning of his spell in much the same fashion.
Being a client of Jorge Mendes, the agent for Cristiano Ronaldo and the Old Trafford manager, could also be a factor in where the youngster chooses to go next.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena
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