Manchester United scouts have reportedly taken ‘good notes’ after Porto star Fabio Vieira put in a man of the match display recently.
Vieira is a 21-year-old attacking midfielder who came through the Porto academy before making his senior debut in June 2020. He is gradually establishing himself as part of the first team and has put in some impressive performances this campaign.
The Portugal U21 international registered three assists in September’s 5-0 thrashing of Moreirense. That clearly put United on alert as they sent club officials to watch him in the recent Portuguese cup win against Vizela.
According to Sport Witness, who cite reports in Portugal, Vieira impressed scouts at the ground. He came off the bench at half time, while the score was 1-1.
The starlet won a penalty before converting it in the 65th minute, putting Porto in front. He caused Vizela problems throughout the rest of the second half as Sergio Conceicao’s team ran out 3-1 winners.
Vieira could follow United star’s lead
Vieira deservedly picked up the man of the match award, and United scouts took ‘good notes’ from the game. The player could follow in Bruno Fernandes’ footsteps by leaving the Primeira Liga for Old Trafford.
The report claims representatives from other clubs were in attendance. Lille and Eintracht Frankfurt also hold an interest in Vieira, suggesting a transfer race could begin.
The playmaker has previously been on Liverpool’s radar, although they are now pursuing alternative targets. His last contract had a release clause worth €30million (£25m), which would have been ideal for Ralf Rangnick’s side. But Vieira has since agreed a new deal lasting until 2025, and Porto will almost certainly have increased that fee.
Vieira’s record for Porto stands at four goals and seven assists in 55 appearances.
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Rangnick makes admission on United duo
Meanwhile, Rangnick has been speaking about the futures of Donny van de Beek and Dean Henderson.
Both stars have been linked with moves away from Manchester as they hunt regular game time.
On shot-stopper Henderson, Rangnick said: “I told him that I would like him to stay. He is a fantastic goalkeeper, I would really like to have him on board.
“I can fully understand why he wants to play at his age, but we are still in three competitions. I can understand his desire to get regular game time.”
Regarding Dutchman van de Beek, the manager added: “It is the same situation as with Dean. I am glad to have him in the squad. He is always performing at a high level in training.
“I had a conversation two weeks ago and advised him to stay until the end of the season. He wants to play in the World Cup and [Netherlands manager] Louis Van Gaal told him he needs to regularly play.
“I understand it, but we have a lot of competition in our squad.”
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Liverpool exodus on the cards as four talents tipped to leave Anfield before deadline day
A Liverpool exodus is on the cards as four players have been tipped to leave Anfield before next week’s Deadline Day.
The Reds are set for a knock on effect from their signing of Porto and Colombia winger Luis Diaz. His imminent £54m arrival, coupled with the upcoming returns of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, will leave Jurgen Klopp with a few too many attacking options.
That means their stance on duo Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino has now changed.
Klopp was said to be reluctant to let Origi go this month. And it was reported that two offers for Minamino had been knocked back too.
However, as per The Athletic, both are now up for sale for the rest of January.
Liverpool will be looking to recoup some of the funds they are set to splash on Diaz. They could also do this with the sale of defender Nat Phillips, valued at £15m.
He’s been the target of attention from both Newcastle and Watford. Both have had offers turned down but could return.
And the man behind the report, journalist James Pearce, has revealed another exit could occur too.
Speaking on The Red Agenda Podcast, he said: “Neco Williams, I wouldn’t be massively surprised if there was some interest him before next week’s January deadline.”
Liverpool defender surplus to requirements
Pearce continued: “Liverpool were open to selling him in the summer, there was talk of a £10m asking price, and there’s an understanding at Liverpool about Neco’s position – there’s a World Cup at the end of the year and he needs to be playing regular football.
“He’s good enough to be doing that, but at Liverpool he has the misfortune of being behind Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“Also, Liverpool look at it and see Conor Bradley and the way he’s performed.
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“He’s younger than Neco as well, and he’s more happy to bide his time and learn his trade, so I think that’s why Liverpool are open to offers.
“I was told potentially a loan for the rest of this season with an option or an obligation for the summer for Neco Williams, so yeah, I think we probably will see him move on, if not this month then in the summer.”
Klopp plans face threat
Meanwhile, Real Madrid are reportedly plotting a midfield revamp involving a stellar star targeted by Liverpool.
The Reds have been tipped to make a major addition to their midfield ranks next summer. James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are all the wrong side of 30.
Ajax’s Ryan Gravenberch is one name who has been linked. The 19-year-old Ajax superstar-in-waiting is already a regular in the Netherlands national team.
A Spanish report detailed Liverpool and Real Madrid’s interest in December, and claimed the Reds were willing to stump up £42m in the summer.
Now, ESPN have shed new light on the situation, namechecking Gravenberch as a Real target once again.
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Newcastle desperately offer Arsenal unlikely helping hand as talks commence for striker
Newcastle United have reportedly offered Arsenal an unlikely helping hand as they look to round off their January transfer business.
The Magpies have endured a frustrating window thus far, but they do now have two more signings in the pipeline. Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is undergoing a medical today, while Brighton’s Dan Burn looks set to move too.
And according to The Telegraph, one final addition is wanted by the financial superpower after that pair.
That’s because Eddie Howe desires further firepower to help get his side out of the Premier League relegation battle.
With options on that front limited, they’ve swopped for someone they know they can get – Eddie Nketiah.
The 22-year-old is into the final six months of his contract with the Gunners. He’d therefore attracted interest from Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
After neither had made a move for the soon-to-be free agent, his club had become resigned to losing him for nothing at the end of the season.
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However, Newcastle look set to relieve them of that fate and give them some cash for Nketiah now.
It’s claimed the transfer has been quietly worked on for ‘some time’. And now it looks close to being completed.
Nketiah is expected to travel north at the weekend, with no fixtures in the way, to finalise the move.
That will be a welcome boost because although Guimaraes is set to join too, the Toon have had to admit defeat in the chase for Jesse Lingard.
They were said to be hopeful that Manchester United would lower their £16.5 loan asking price for the attacker. But as that hasn’t happened, they walked away from talks.
Newcastle may have second option
Meanwhile, another report has claimed West Ham will step up their pursuit of Duje Caleta-Car before Monday’s transfer deadline and could therefore allow Issa Diop to join Newcastle.
Both the Hammers and the Magpies have been searching for defensive recruits throughout the January window. Newcastle have already added full-back Kieran Trippier, but they are desperately seeking a centre-back.
West Ham have looked stable at the back for large parts this season. However, a long-term injury to Angelo Ogbonna coupled with recent defeats to Leeds United and Manchester United has raised concern.
As such, both sides are chasing a new central defender before the cut-off on Monday evening. And that could cause a transfer train…
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