Manchester United have set £35million aside as they plan a bid for Benfica’s Brazilian striker, Carlos Vinicius, according to reports.
Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed last month that, despite the financial uncertainties facing the sport, his side could be in a position to “exploit” the transfer market when it re-opens.
There are expected to be many clubs who will feel more inclined to sell top talent with, for instance, Barcelona reportedly considering selling up to nine of their stars and Napoli’s losses expected to pass €20million.
According to Portuguese newspaper A Bola (via The Sun), United are pressing on with their hunt for new signings and have identified Vinicius as a target up front.
The 25-year-old has scored 20 goals and assisted 12 others in 36 games this season and United are reportedly close to submitting a £35million bid for the player.
It is claimed, however, that the initial bid will test the waters given that Vinicius has an £88million release clause in his contract.
Indeed, it is thought that Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira is confident he will be able to secure that figure for the player if he waits long enough.
Vinicius began his career in his native Brazil before joining Real SC in 2017 followed by Napoli in the summer of 2018.
From there, he was sent out on loans to Rio Ave and Monaco last season before eventually settling back in Portugal with Benfica.
Vinicius has kicked on in the Portuguese top flight, with 15 goals and seven assists to his name, becoming the league’s top scorer in the process.
United had shown signs of a resurgence under Solskjaer before the season was halted, having gone unbeaten in 11 matches.
The arrivals of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo – the latter on loan – have had an impressive impact on the squad and it is unclear whether Nigerian striker Ighalo will be kept on at Old Trafford past the end of the season.
In other news, United have reportedly made contact with Velez Sarsfield star Thiago Almada.