A 'Bale-like' hint Manchester United will get their €45m man?

Sporting Lisbon

Just like Tottenham did last summer, Sporting Lisbon appear to be spending money in advance of anticipation of selling Manchester United transfer target William Carvalho.

Tottenham were famously claimed to have sold Elvis and bought The Beatles last summer, as they cashed in on Gareth Bale and spent £100 million on seven players.

Their signings unfortunately have appeared, with the exception of Christian Eriksen, to represent the talent of a poor Beatles cover band so far, but the intention of the club was a good one.

By selling one player, they were able to sign several who if they all panned out, or even the majority did to their full potential, would have looked like an inspired piece of business.

As Manchester United attempt to close a deal for Sporting Lisbon star William Carvalho, there is an increasing hint the Portuguese side are looking to do the same.

Yesterday they sealed a deal for Dundee United playmaker Ryan Gauld, dubbed 'mini Messi' earlier in the season and linked to a host of Premier League clubs.

He becomes the third midfielder and fifth player Sporting Lisbon have signed this summer, with the overhaul hinting the Primeira Liga runners-up may be planning to move on the coveted William Carvalho.

Manchester United representatives were reportedly in Portugal this week to negotiate a deal for the central midfielder, valued at €45 million by his club.

With a new midfield lined up, Sporting are in a strong position, and can hold out until they get the price they want as Tottenham did with Gareth Bale last summer, receiving £86 million from Real Madrid.

Sporting have previously signed Bulgarian side Litex Lovech's captain Simeon Slavchev, MLS star and former Barcelona trainee Oriol Rosell.

They have also signed Japanese striker Junya Tanaka and Portuguese under-21 defender Paulo Oliveira.

It's a real hint that they are not only planning to build on last year's excellent second placed finish, but they are getting their business done earlier and cheaper before selling their top star and clubs will know they have cash to spend and up their demands accordingly, as United are finding out.

Sporting's director Augusto Ignacio was quoted earlier this week in The Mirror as saying: "We are not concerned with William Carvalho because we have alternatives, who will want to play as well. The termination clause ensures a great deal to Sporting. I am very pleased with the negotiations."

They know Manchester United can get their man at the right price, and are well prepared for that moment in advance, if the Red Devils decide he is worth it.

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