Man Utd look to repeat Ronaldo trick with swoop for Sporting star
Manchester United have been linked with another raid on Sporting Lisbon – the Portuguese team they signed Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani from – for 19-year-old winger Carlos Mane.
Mane has only made two substitute appearances for Sporting’s first team, but the youngster is highly-rated by the Leoes after impressing for the B side over the last twelve months.
At just 5ft 5in, Mane is hardly cut from the same cloth as former United talisman Ronaldo, who is a full eight inches taller at 6ft 1in.
Even Nani towers over Mane at 5ft 9in, but Sporting’s new star is tipped for greatness after scoring 12 times in 53 underage appearances for Portugal since his Under-15 days.
United have not had a lot of luck with wingers in recent times, with Nani and Ashley Young marginalised since Moyes took over at Old Trafford.
Wilfried Zaha – who was signed by Moyes’ predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson – is clearly not part of the former Everton chief’s short-term plans and could be shipped out on loan in January.
Danny Welbeck has been played on the left side this season, as has Shinji Kagawa and the Red Devils gaffer knows he has to add some creative spark to his side in January if United are to overcome fourth-favouritism and retain the Premier League this year at odds of 9/2.
Mane could be a neat addition to the champions’ squad and reports that the teenager has a £1m release clause in his contract could spark a flurry of bids in January.
United’s good relationship with Sporting could swing the balance in their favour and they have also been linked with the club’s talented holding-midfielder William Carvalho recently.