Chelsea credited with interest in midfielder with €45m release clause

Sporting Lisbon

Chelsea have been credited with interest in Manchester United target William Carvalho.

Chelsea already have plenty of midfield options, but that does not mean the club are not interested in shaking up their options.

Rumours are growing on the continent of the club's interest in Portugal's latest sensation, William Carvalho.

Carvalho is a central midfielder who has been likened in playing style to Patrick Vieira, and has this week been called up to the Portugal international squad for the first time.

The 21-year-old, who was born in Angola, had scored twice in his previous three under-21 international games for Portugal, and has played nine times this season for Sporting Lisbon.

Talksport reported last month how Manchester United were interested in the player, who has a staggering €45 million release clause in his contract, which runs until 2018.

Now somewhat convoluted rumours have linked Chelsea with rivalling the Red Devils for his signature.

Portuguese newspaper A Bola runs the headline, 'Mourinho awakens to William Carvalho', with website Renascenca writing 'Mourinho delighted with William Carvalho', also covering the story.

Both websites reference however English newspaper the Daily Star as the source, who unusually do not have a copy of their report on their website. 

The reports have been reproduced on various websites in Italy, France and Spain over the past 24 hours.

Official sources on Chelsea's interest are therefore thin on the ground on this one, but it's little surprise to see Chelsea credited with such an interest in a rising star like Carvalho.

In recent months they have been linked with the country's top young talent, including Bruma - now of Galatasaray, and Benfica's Andre Gomes.

Carvalho is a player who would likely only be signed if Jose Mourinho chose to move on one of Jon Obi Mikel or Michael Essien, both of who put in excellent performance against Arsenal in the League Cup a fortnight ago.

Chelsea would also be able to sign the midfielder for below the player's release clause, for his market value is around about only a third of that at present at best.

Keep an eye on the midfielder as he will be one to watch over the coming year, and if Portugal do beat Sweden in their upcoming World Cup play-off, he is a good bet to make the squad for next year's finals.

Check him out in action below:

image: © danheap77

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