Fascinating info suggests United could get €45m man for far less than that

Manchester United have regularly been linked with William Carvalho, but could his club's recent transfer activity lead to a reduced fee?

Reported Manchester United target William Carvalho has a release-clause of €45million. So if any club wants to sign him, surely that is what they will have to pay.

And yet, perhaps not, because a list published by FootballObservatory.com has revealed the top 30 clubs in terms of income received from transfer fees – and while FC Porto and Benfica are both present, their Portuguese rivals Sporting Lisbon are nowhere to be seen.

Porto have brought in €282.7million since the 2008-2009 season, putting them third in the table behind Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid, while Benfica are 16th having brought in €174.3million in that time.

But where are Sporting – the club William currently plays for? Wherever they are they are below the likes of Sunderland, Aston Villa and Portsmouth (the presence of whom on the list shows just how quickly they have fallen).

But back to my point, which is that based on the table, Sporting have not shown themselves to be the canniest of negotiators when it comes to player sales.

This is the club who sold United a young Cristiano Ronaldo for just £12.24million; not an amount to be sniffed at but more akin to pocket-change when you consider the player he swiftly became.

William is Sporting’s latest crown jewel, so there is the chance the club will finally play hard-ball. But a quick look at the list suggests United may just be able to get the solution to their midfield problems for less than they first thought.

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