Reported Manchester United target Carlos Mane has been linked with a shock call-up to the Portugal squad for this summer’s World Cup.
The 20-year-old winger-cum-striker is still in the midst of his first season in Sporting Lisbon’s senior side, but such has been his development that O Jogo reports that he is being considered for a place on the plane to Brazil.
Mane has a reported release-clause of €45million, and along with his Sporting teammate William Carvalho, he has been linked with a move to Old Trafford.
United could certainly do with some new wingers given the poor performances of their current wide-men, and Mane has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani in swapping Lisbon for Manchester.
Mane is yet to play for the senior national side, having previously turned out for Portugal’s under-21s, so it would be some surprise if he suddenly finds his way into Paulo Bento’s World Cup squad. But his performances this campaign – which have seen him score four goals for the Primeira Liga’s surprise package – suggest he could be an effective option to have on the bench this summer.
If Mane does find himself selected, it could be to the detriment of United flop Bebe, who has been reinvigorated this season and has been talked of as a possible wild-card for Bento’s squad.
Bebe has scored 11 goals on loan for Pacos de Ferreira, but given that he occupies a similar position on the pitch as Mane, it is unlikely that both players will make it onto the plane.
While the younger of the two has scored considerably less than the United man, it is Mane of whom great things are expected. The only question is, when and where will he get to showcase his talents next?