Manchester United could land their next Bruno Fernandes in the upcoming transfer window by signing Sporting Lisbon gem Pedro Goncalves.
What’s the story?
According to Portuguese newspaper Record (via the Daily Star), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are keen to sign the highly-rated 22-year-old this summer as United look to mount a title charge next season.
The report claims that Goncalves has a £52 million release clause inserted into his current contract, although Sporting are desperate to tie him down to a new deal that includes a higher release fee.
It’s been less than 18 months since United raided Sporting for Fernandes, but the Red Devils could be set to return to the Primeira Liga champions as they eye up another one of their highly-rated attacking midfielders.
Goncalves enjoyed a fabulous 2020/21 for Ruben Amorim’s men, bagging 23 goals and providing four assists in 32 league appearances as the capital club won their first top-flight title in 19 years.
His impressive displays have attracted the attention of some of the continent’s biggest clubs, with fellow Premier League giants Liverpool also reportedly interested in acquiring the youngster.
The former Portugal Under-21 international has previous experience playing in England, having been part of the Wolves academy between 2017 and 2019.
Although Goncalves only made one senior appearance for the Midlands outfit, he still managed to catch the eye of Under-23 boss Rob Edwards, who lept to the creative talent’s defence after a horrendous miss during a Premier League Cup victory against Oxford United.
“Players have to pick themselves up after missing chances like that. I said to him that the next time you get that opportunity, you’ll put that in the back of the net. He’s been outstanding for us this year, he’s a really good player, and no one means to miss an opportunity,” Edwards said.
After failing to secure any silverware in the recently concluded campaign and finishing a dozen points behind table-toppers Manchester City, United will be desperate to strengthen over the summer.
The additions of Donny van de Beek and Alex Telles 12 months ago failed to propel the 20-time English champions back into title-winning contention, however, the addition of the £19.8m-rated maestro could do just that.