Bruno Fernandes has given his seal of approval to Manchester United's pursuit of a 19-year-old wonderkid.
The Reds have been linked with the midfielder ahead of the January transfer window as Erik ten Hag looks to infuse his squad with exciting young talent.
Scouts have watched the teenager on several occasions as they weigh up whether to make a bid.
And now United captain Fernandes has waxed lyrical about Portugal and Benfica starlet Joao Neves in what may well be viewed at Old Trafford as a green light to get a deal done.
Fernandes told Sport TV while on international duty as cited by Sports Central: 'It has to be the Man United coach who says whether he has a place or not. 'He is a great player, I don't know if he would have a place or not. It depends on the coach and his ideas. 'But he's excellent player and an excellent kid, very professional. You will have a bright future wherever you go. 'I would really like to have him by my side because he has quality and will have a bright future. 'It depends on him. What I want most is the best for him.'
Just the latest star to emerge from Benfica's academy and was a stand-out player when their under-19 side won the UEFA Youth League in the 2021-22 season.
When Enzo Fernandez was sold to Chelsea in January his year, Neves began training with the first team squad and quickly impressed coach Roger Schmidt.
He has since played 38 times for Benfica, helping them win the Portuguese league title last season.
Neves was handed his senior debut for Portugal in their Euro 2024 qualifier away to Bosnia and Herzegovina last month. He then came off the bench late on in Thursday's 2-0 away win over Liechtenstein.
He is capable of playing as a central or a defensive midfielder and would add to the likes of Casemiro, Mason Mount, Scott McTominay, Christian Eriksen and Sofyan Amrabat at United if he joined in January.
Contracted to his club until 2028, Benfica would be likely to extract a high transfer fee for the young player. Fernandes and compatriot Diogo Dalot could help Neves settle at United.
Portugal can complete a perfect 10 wins from 10 in Euro 2024 qualifying if they beat Iceland in Lisbon on Sunday night..