Manchester United have been linked with plenty of Portuguese-based players in recent times, but one of the more unexpected names was Carlos Mane.
The Sporting Lisbon winger was first said to be on David Moyes’ radar back in November, when the Mirror reported that the Premier League champions were scouting the 19-year-old.
In January, it was claimed Celtic had entered the race for his signature, and that he had a release-clause of just £1million.
But those reports were contradicted by Portuguese newspaper A Bola, which claimed that a contract extension signed the previous August had actually raised said clause to a huge €45million.
With a deal that now runs until 2018, there is no reason for the player to leave or the club to cash in – although if the new reported clause is matched by an interested party, Sporting will have some serious thinking to do.
But for now Mane is proving invaluable for his club, as he scored the only goal of the game in their 1-0 victory over Olhanense in a match that was vital to their title hopes.
The victory saw Sporting go just two points behind current Primeira Liga leaders Benfica, and kept them in contention in one of Europe’s tightest title races.
It was Mane’s first league goal of the season, which highlights his age and inexperience. So while the likes of United are unlikely to stump up even close to the reported €45million release-clause, he may be one to watch.
image: © danheap77