Man United scouting Sporting CP midfielder Joao Palhinha

Manchester United are stepping up interest in Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha.

According to the Mirror, United are interested in the defensive midfielder who has just signed a new deal with his club. His new deal runs until 2026 but is understood that Lisbon added the contract to increase their bargaining power on the player.

The release clause in the deal is close to £50million but Sporting will listen to offers north of £20m, with performance-based add-ons with United scouts are understood to have watched Palhinha in at least eight matches this season.

Reports from Portugal suggest that United will be moving for the player in the summer as they seek to address their midfield worries with Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay not thought to be able to control the United midfield as required by the coaches. 

Apart from United, Laliga side Atletico Madrid are also interested in the player but it is said that they would struggle to meet the player’s demands.

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