Leicester eye cut-price deal for defender linked with Man Utd, Liverpool

Nuno Mendes

Leicester City have reportedly joined the race for Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes, who has previously been linked with Manchester United and Liverpool.

Mendes has already become a first team regular for Sporting, despite only making his senior debut earlier this year. The 18-year-old is quickly proving his potential.

Mendes has started every game for Sporting this season as they have soared to the top of the Portuguese top flight.

Sporting know that there will be several suitors for Mendes, and with that in mind, they raised his release clause to €45m in the summer. Even that may not be enough, as they are reportedly now looking to raise it further to €70m.

However, their finances have been affected by the pandemic. Therefore, they might have to accept a lower offer for Mendes, just to bring some money into the bank.

According to the Daily Mail, Leicester have emerged as a contender for his signature, as they look for more depth at full-back.

The Foxes sold left-back Ben Chilwell to Chelsea in the summer. That led them to sign Timothy Castagne from Atalanta, who can play on either side of defence.

However, Castagne and first-choice right-back Ricardo Pereira are both currently out with injury. It has shown Leicester that they need more cover in those positions.

Therefore, they have outlined Mendes as a potential target – but will not be alone in their interest.


Newcastle, Man Utd, Liverpool linked

The Mail adds that Newcastle asked about Mendes in the summer. At the time, Sporting would have accepted an offer of £18m.

It is not clear what the Portuguese side’s demands for the youngster at present are, but the fact they are trying to raise his release clause suggests they value him highly.

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Mendes has been suggested as a target for Manchester United and Liverpool in recent months. The latter eventually signed Kostas Tsimikas to strengthen the left-back position instead, but were reportedly still keeping an eye on Mendes because of his versatility.

United also brought in a left-back in the summer, signing Alex Telles from Porto.

Therefore, Leicester’s need for a new full-back may be greater than that of their fellow Premier League sides.

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