The Old Trafford outfit has been keeping an eye on William Carvalho all season, but now face tough competition from La Liga giants.
News from Spain indicates that both Barça and Real Madrid are keeping tabs on Carvalho who plays for Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon. The player also has a €45m release clause written into his contract.
Spanish sports newspaper, El Mundo Deportivo write: “FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have already observed closely the Portuguese player, who this season is showing all his physical, tactical and defensive potential.”
Arsene Wenger and Arsenal FC have also been linked to Carvalho but United have remained firm favourites to get a deal penned.
The 21-year-old defensive midfielder has recently been called up into the Portuguese national squad, and has been compared to French star Patrick Vieira in style.
United are in desperate need for a player like him and out of the clubs mentioned, they would be the ones who would put him to greatest use. Barcelona sold Yaya Toure just over three years ago now and although the club could do with some physical presence in the midfield, Martino’s style of play doesn’t really warrant the signing of Carvalho.
The Catalan giants are to meet Manchester City in the Champions League next month and Martino wouldn’t want any surprises. Therefore, the coach could opt for taking a closer look at the Portuguese midfielder, just in case.
Meanwhile, United should be worried if they don’t get their man. Securing a top four slot and Champions League football for next season looks like being a struggle while La Liga giants Barça and Real Madrid appear to have the midfielder’s signature in the bag.
There has been news that Manchester United star Nani may be offered to Sporting in a deal to clinch Carvalho’s signature, but we’ll have to wait and see how that develops. Therefore, with increased pressure from La Liga giants Barça and Real Madrid, sending Nani back to Sporting Lisbon may be a priority now if they are to sign the 21 year old.