Manchester United’s pursuit of Sporting CP midfielder Pedro Goncalves seems to have ended before it had even begun.
Goncalves emerged as a potential target for Man Utd earlier this week. The youngster would fit their policy of signing promising players from across the globe, and comparisons with current United star Bruno Fernandes would make him an exciting proposition.
However, that excitement may have quickly faded away. Numerous reports in Portugal, as collated by Sport Witness, have denied that Goncalves could be on his way to Old Trafford.
First, Record have claimed that Sporting have not had any contact from United about the 22-year-old. They also add that his agent has made it clear that Goncalves will not be moving in January.
Next, Correio De Manha state that Sporting will not sell Goncalves in January, for a number of reasons.
For example, the former Wolves academy player has a €60m release clause. Sporting believe no club will pay that now, so by setting that as an asking price, they can ward off interested suitors.
Furthermore, they are in negotiations with his former club Famalicao, who still own half of his rights. That could complicate a potential transfer, so Sporting are trying to reach an agreement.
Goncalves rejects Man Utd
A third report from Jornal De Noticias backs up the claims that Sporting would only sell Goncalves for €60m.
They also add that the player himself is not keen on a move to Old Trafford at this stage. Instead, he would rather try to win the league with Sporting, who are currently four points clear at the top of the Portuguese table.
Therefore, he is hoping to play a key part in their efforts to maintain that position for the remainder of the season.
With no formal bids arriving yet, it seems that will likely be the outcome. If United still want to strengthen in that position this month, they will have to look elsewhere.