Manchester United have made no changes to their defensive midfield position for a long time. Since bringing in Nemanja Matic from Chelsea and Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk under the management of Jose Mourinho, the club has hardly turned their attention towards the area. Scott McTominay’s gradual improvement in the middle of the park, in a double pivot, has also helped the club in this regard.
Currently, those three have become the regular names when it comes to the club’s defensive midfield. But with Fred and McTominay struggling with inconsistency and Matic no longer in his prime, it is clear that Manchester United need to sign a defensive midfielder as early as possible.
The name of Declan Rice has been mentioned time and again. And it is thought that Manchester United hold a significant interest in the English international. But West Ham United appear to be looking for a £100million transfer fee to let him leave.
If that turns out to be the case, Manchester United would need an alternative. And it appears that the club have a Sporting Lisbon star on their radar.
Manchester United keeping tabs on Sporting Lisbon’s Joao Palhinha
It is unclear who they were there to watch. But Sporting Lisbon’s star defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha is one of the players who has been linked with a Premier League move in recent times.
Clubs such as Sevilla, Villarreal, Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Fiorentina, Atalanta, Nice, Monaco, Montpellier, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig are also believed to have sent their scouts to the game.
Manchester United have signed some of their best players in history, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, from Sporting Lisbon over the years. Could they try to repeat the trick with Palhinha?