Manchester United's increasing links to William Carvalho continue, but will they get good value for the player and does it matter?
The People claimed yesterday that United had agreed a £37 million fee (€45m) for his signature, with a transfer set to be finalised after the World Cup.
Without official confirmation from either club or player, such reports should always be treated with scepticism, but United's interest and regular scouting of the midfielder is well documented.
Carvalho is just 21-years-old, and would become at that price, almost a club record signing, with Juan Mata bought for £37.1 million in January. Quite a fee for a player who has never played Champions League football.
His talent may be just what United are looking for, with Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes complimentary about him; but his price is certainly a matter of contention.
For those who asks: William Carvalho is the perfect player for MUFC, and he would play in the lineup. 45m€, although, is too much for him.— Gonçalo Lopes (@_GoncaloLopes) March 23, 2014
So what is a fair price for William Carvalho?
He has never played Champions League football, has only two international caps, and two goals and no assists to his name this season. Looking at that alone, the price certainly can be argued to be a steep one.
United however need a central midfielder who can tackle, pass, and control the game, which is what Carvalho has been doing so well for Sporting this season.
Can you really put a price on that, if he really is the 'perfect player' as Lopes describes?
Schalke star Julian Draxler has a release clause of the same figure, and he is one year younger, but also considered a premium top talent. Carvalho's price may just be the going rate.
The doubt comes in over his ability to adapt to the Premier League, but should United bring in a proven talent like Toni Kroos to play alongside him, the adjustment will be a lot easier.