William Carvalho and Carlos Mane are two players who each have a reported €45million release-clause in their contracts.
The former is 21 and is hailed as one of the greatest midfield prospects in Europe, while the latter is a 19-year-old winger who has burst on to the scene this season but has some way to go to suggest he is worth such a considerable outlay.
That said, Manchester United are reportedly interested in both, which makes sense given that David Moyes’ midfield – both centrally and in the wide positions – needs plenty of work.
United would not spend €90million on the pair. That is obvious. But they may not have to, given their previous dealings with the players’ current club Sporting Lisbon.
The Portuguese club were, after all, the side from which Sir Alex Ferguson purchased both Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, and while some may accuse me of making somewhat of a tenuous link between the past and a possible future, that previous working relationship certainly will not be a bad thing.
With Ferguson also remaining on the board at Old Trafford, his influence could have a considerable impact if he is included in any negotiations for one or ultimately both players.
I say “ultimately” because Mane is still inexperienced and would surely benefit from a longer stay in the Primeira Liga. William, on the other hand, is certainly ready for the next stage of his career, be that at United or elsewhere.
Clubs do often have a habit of dealing with some side more than others, and if United maintain the relationship that saw them sign two of Europe’s most exciting young talents, they could add a couple more to that list in the future.
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