Bebe has made it clear he thinks Sporting Lisbon are the perfect club for him, which provides David Moyes with the opportunity to go after a unique swap deal for talented defender Tiago Ilori.
That would represent a brilliant piece of business by the new Manchester United boss and a chance for the Old Trafford club to get one over on their biggest rivals ahead of the new season.
“I would love to play for Sporting. The club would suit me and it is an ambition of mine to play for Sporting. They put faith in young players [at Sporting], appreciate them, and play an attractive game,” Bebe told Correio da Manha.
Ilori is a huge 20-year-old centre back who has already played at three different levels for Portugal and he’s someone that Bebe would have come up against last season while on loan with Rio Ave.
In fact he made such an impression with Sporting Lisbon that Liverpool were reportedly ready to make him Jamie Carragher’s long term replacement in the Liverpool defence, with Spanish club Valencia also looking at him.
He can play on either side of central defence and would simply increase the immensely talented defensive reserves that Moyes already has at his disposal with United.
Bebe’s future at Old Trafford has become pretty clear and it would need some bizarre change of circumstances to get him to commit to a future with Manchester United.
The faith that has been shown, likely to continue, in Antonio Valencia down the right of United’s team and the chance that Wilfried Zaha will be used regularly sown the left means there is no chance Bebe will be getting into the first team any time soon.
David Moyes has been in football for too long not to sense a good business opportunity when he sees one.
That may sound like a cliché line out of the Apprentice but United would be naïve to simply let Bebe go to Sporting Lisbon if they came in with a cash only offer on the table.
They will be looking to get rid of him but it’s in the club’s interests to try and improve the current squad in the process and the presence of Ilori is something that would enable that.
If it turns out that all of the stories and gentlemen’s agreements with Benfica over Ezequiel Garay are nothing but rubbish, this presents a great opportunity for United.
The fee Liverpool seemed willing to pay for Ilori was around the £3.5-5 million mark, which suggests that’s roughly his market value and United will feel as though Bebe is definitely worth in that region. A straight swap could yet be on the cards.
Is it a deal United should go for? Do you think it’s pointless considering their defence already?
image: © Andrea Sartorati