Benfica are demanding an eye-watering £85 million to sell Antonio Silva this month amid reports that Premier League giants Manchester United are big fans of the talented centre-half.

Unless the Saudi Arabian interest in Raphael Varane becomes too much to ignore, or if Harry Maguire suddenly changes his mind about a potential switch to West Ham, the feeling is that Manchester United’s pursuit of a new centre-half can wait.

Well, until the summer of 2024 at least. According to 90Min, United scouts are keeping a very close eye on Benfica’s Antonio Silva. They are not just fans of the elegant 19-year-old, they love the kid. Understandably so, too. Silva is a huge talent; one of the most exciting defensive talents anywhere in Europe, and one as comfortable starting attacks as he is stopping them.

Antonio Silva from SL Benfica in action during UEFA
Photo by Bruno de Carvalho/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Manchester United watch Benfica defender Antonio Silva

“(Silva) will be a legend,” former Benfica team-mate Jan Vertonghten tells CNN Portugal. “(He) has everything to be one of the best defenders in the world in a year or two.”

By then, might Silva already be a Manchester United player?

O Jogo reports that it would take an offer in the region of £85 million to convince Benfica to cash in on the teenager now. Such a fee would see Silva overtake a certain current Man United defender as teh most expensive ever?

But the reports about Silva’s price-tag should not concern United fans. With a midfielder and another forward higher up Erik ten Hag’s wishlist as things stand, Silva is one of those who can be placed on the backburner until the Red Devils are better placed to move on from Varane and/or Maguire.

Harry Maguire stays for now

“He knows what I expect from him,” Ten Hag said of Maguire after the Englishman’s £30 million move to West Ham collapsed (Manchester Evening News).

“I’ve been here for one year now and you know what I expect from a centre half. And he can do it, I’ve told you many times before he has the ability to do it so now he has to show it.

“It is then about character, to be convinced to play that role, he has all the abilities to do it and it is up to him when the time (opportunity) is there.

“Harry is a player for us. I am happy he is here, we need a good squad, we have four good centre halves – including Luke Shaw we have five – and we need it because we are going to play 50 to 60 games this season.

“All the players are internationals, so we have a very heavy load to cover so I am happy Harry Maguire is here.”