Manchester United are eyeing up a deal for Sporting Lisbon youngster Nuno Mendes after a recommendation from former Red Devils hero Nani, according to reports.
Mendes, 17, has accelerated through the Sporting ranks and is now a regular feature for the club’s Under-23 side, having made 17 appearances this term.
The left-back is also a rising star for Portugal, having made his Under-19s debut in September after impressing at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level.
According to the Daily Star, United discussed Mendes with Sporting during negotiations that eventually brought Bruno Fernandes to Old Trafford in January.
The newspaper claims that Nani – a former Sporting and Portugal star himself – has now convinced United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about Mendes’ potential.
United are reportedly in discussions about a package worth over £10million to sign him, with the player keen to move to Manchester having told Sporting he will not be renewing his contract before it ends in 2021.
Teams in Italy and Spain are also considering a swoop for Mendes, but it is said that United are favourites to sign him.
The Daily Star adds that the Red Devils see Mendes as a talent for the future, who they can develop in their own youth or reserve ranks.
Mendes is the second left-back Solskjaer’s side have been linked with in recent weeks, after Monaco’s Fode Ballo-Toure.
United are also believed to be looking to bolster elsewhere, with a midfielder, a striker and a winger on his shortlist of targets for the upcoming transfer window.
And while the likes of Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish have been linked, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward admitted his side are facing unprecedented challenges.
Woodward said: “We remain firmly optimistic for the long-term prospects for the club and for our exciting young team once we have worked our way through what is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary and testing periods in the 142-year history of Manchester United.”