Manchester United have been prominently linked with William Carvalho over the course of the season, with the Portuguese midfielder a rising star in his homeland.
Carvalho excelled for Sporting Lisbon last season, with Talksport prematurely claiming last month a deal to United has been agreed.
His future in Portugal was thrown into doubt last week after the manager who helped him reach this season's heights, Leandro Jardim, signed a deal to take over as Monaco boss.
Sporting are however continuing their transfer activity, last night announcing the signing of central midfielder Simeon Slavchev.
Slavchev, 20, is highly rated and is a former target for Aston Villa and West Ham, previously described as the 'Bulgarian Frank Lampard', already a senior international.
Portuguese newspaper O Jogo report Slavchev has signed a five year deal, the transfer only setting Sporting back €1 million, with a €45 million release clause inserted into his contract.
It illustrates last season's surprise Primeira Liga runners-up are preparing for the future, signing a key player in Carvalho's position, preparing for his expected departure.
It's good news for United, with the Red Devils preparing to get their transfer business underway.
The question remains however as to whether United still hold their interest, Carvalho not appearing on any reported shortlist of targets since talks with Louis van Gaal got underway.
Jardim's managerial switch to big spenders Monaco also make them logical contenders for his signature if United leave the potential deal on ice for too long.