Twist in Manchester United’s apparent €133m scouting mission

United have been linked with yet another Portuguese-based player...Sporting Lisbon's Mauricio.

Last weekend we brought you the news that Manchester United scouts were present to watch the Portuguese Cup match between Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.

In a humdinger of a match, Benfica ultimately triumphed 4-3 after extra-time, with Oscar Cardozo bagging a hat-trick in the process.

But while it was believed United were in attendance to scout four players long-linked with a potential switch to Old Trafford, stories in recent hours suggest they were looking at someone else entirely.

Initially it was felt David Moyes wanted his staff to run the rule over a quartet with a combined value (considering release-clauses and apparent asking-prices) of €133million. That quartet consisted of Ezequiel Garay, Nicolas Gaitain, Nemanja Matic and William Carvalho.

But as reported in the Mirror this morning, United may actually have been there to track Sporting defender Mauricio.

The 25-year-old Brazilian was on the score-sheet in that 4-3 thriller, and while his goal ultimately proved a mere consolation, it certainly would have got him noticed in a match of considerable excitement.

Coming so soon after reports claiming United were interested in another Sporting player – teenage winger Carlos Mane – it may be the case that the English champions are simply being linked with half of Portugal’s top flight.

But there is a strong belief Moyes will move for at least one new defender next summer; and while most believed that would be Garay, it could in fact be the man his team got the better of last weekend.

images: © danheap77

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