United close in on deal for £35m midfielder

carvalhoReports  today suggest that Manchester United have agreed a deal worth £35m for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, which will bring the defensive midfielder to Old Trafford after the World Cup, as David Moyes looks to bolster his options in the middle of the park.

United have scouted Carvalho intensely this season and the 22-year-old was also on the radar of a host of other top European clubs – including Liverpool, Monaco, Inter Milan and Real Madrid – but talkSPORT suggests that Ed Woodward has managed to get his man this time around – as indeed had the Mirror a few weeks ago –  after failing spectacularly with bids for Ander Herrera and Cesc Fabregas last season.

The Sporting Lisbon midfielder, who will feature at the World Cup in June, is expected to sign a five-year deal, though the deal will not be made official until July.

Carvalho, who could become the third player to join United after graduating from Sporting’s famed academy, has been impressive this season, demonstrating the sort of maturity normally associated with players a couple of years his senior, with the 22-year-old becoming Sporting’s main man in midfield.

The Angolan-born midfielder – who stands at of 6’2” tall and weighs close to 14 stone and is not afraid of using his frame to win the ball back – is normally deployed in front of the back four, but can also play further up the pitch in a central midfield role, a position he’s already occupied for both club and country – Carvalho has already earned a senior cap with Portugal, after becoming a pivotal figure in the U21 side.

Carvalho, as the Mirror’s Tom Kundert noted a couple of months ago, is still not the finish article as “his distribution is occasionally wayward and largely unambitious, preferring the sideways pass to a more vertical approach” and tends “to pick up yellow cards on a frequent basis.”

However, despite Caravlho’s huge potential, United’s decision to spend £37m – thus triggering the player’s release clause – will leave room for some scepticism, for that amount of money could have been spent on a midfielder of proven quality and already established in one of Europe’s top leagues.

On the other hand, if Carvalho does live up to his potential, Moyes could have grabbed himself an excellent deal given the Portuguese has still more than a decade of football ahead of him.

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