Solskjaer sceptical about Man Utd star as ‘serious’ replacement named

Leandrinho, Nuno Mendes

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to sign Sporting Lisbon left-back Nuno Mendes after being left unconvinced by Brandon Williams, according to a report.

Williams, 19, stepped up to United’s first team and has made 31 appearances in his debut season so far.

Indeed, he has shown his talent in games such the 2-0 win over Manchester City in March.

However, according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, Solskjaer does not feel the Englishman has what it takes to be a serious competitor at left-back.


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As such, the source adds that Solskjaer wants to find a “serious” replacement and rival to injury-prone Shaw.

One such candidate is Sporting’s Mendes, who has spent most of the season in the Portuguese reserve league.

However, after making his Primeira Liga debut in June, he has gone on to earn seven more senior appearances.

O Jogo reports that United scouts have followed the 18-year-old closely over the past year and have exciting reviews.

In particular, it is Mendes’ ability to get forward while also providing a solid defensive work rate that has led to the recommendation to Solskjaer.

€45m RELEASE CLAUSE IN THE WAY

Mendes recently signed a bumper five-year deal with Sporting which features a €45million release clause.

Sporting are reportedly unwilling to negotiate in the coming months but they could sell up in the future.

Indeed, the source says Sporting would be willing to lower their asking price given the financial impact of the pandemic.

What’s more, a deal should be straightforward to negotiate given United and Sporting have “good relations”.

The two clubs agreed a deal for Bruno Fernandes in January, with Mendes sharing the same agent as the midfielder.

In fact, a deal for Mendes was on the negotiating table for United in the winter transfer window.

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