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Manchester United linked to Brazilian attacker in €40m deal; other clubs interested, is it a ploy?

Manchester United undoubtedly have a massive transfer window ahead of them. A window that should be used to clear out some of the deadwood at the club and bring in fresh players, fresh ideas and a fresh way of moving the club forwards. On Saturday evening, after United lost the Emirates FA Cup final in devastating fashion, with Phil Jones not only starting the match but giving away a penalty with resulted in the only goal of the game, the Old Trafford club was once again linked to Anderson Talisca.

Talisca is a Brazilian winger from Benfica but has spent the last two seasons on loan at Besiktas. He was linked to United last summer but nothing happened regarding that as the Turkish club held all the cards, already agreeing on his two-year loan spell the summer before. No move materialised. However, Besiktas had a €21 million clause to buy Talisca this summer, something which is not expected to happen for whatever reason. Besiktas boss Senol Gunes has already confirmed the player will leave the Turkish club this season, saying:

“Talisca was already gone at the winter break. I’m sorry that he won’t be with us any longer. I wish he could stay for his sake and ours. He already had a deal in place. He might be rivals with Cenk Tosun.”

The Brazilian has been linked to Liverpool and Premier League newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers recently. Besiktas boss Gunes had an exchange of words with journalists about the 24-year-old in which he was asked if the player would be heading to Roma. Sport Witness, who translated the video, reports him responding as; “I can’t tell. But he could be a rival to Cenk Tosun.” It was then asked by the journalist whether it was Wolverhampton Wanderers with Gunes responding; “Look higher.”

A Turkish journalist, who specifically covers Besiktas, called Firat Gunayer has claimed that Talisca has agreed to join Manchester United this summer. However, there is no deal in place with Benfica, the owners of the player but they want to achieve the best price they can get for the Brazilian, from anyone. It seems they do not care where he goes, just how much they get for him. That is only to be expected. Jose Mourinho is a fan of the player, in 2014, if Chelsea could obtain a work permit for Talisca, he would have signed him, so said the insinuation. In 2015, Mourinho said:

“So I repeat what I said (that he was keen on him and he’d have been in England if not for a work permit). And that does not mean we want the player for something, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t him for anything.

“It’s a logical thing: where is a player in the world today who is detected only by one club? Only if he is hidden in a tomb and found by someone on safari in Africa. Within the known markets, there is no player that is detected by a single club.

“So I think it’s very good that Jorge has a great picture of himself and that he’s a person very proud of his path and his work, I think all this absolutely normal, but do not mess with my job which I also take very seriously.”

One thing that comes to my mind is the fact Manchester United have been linked with players from Benfica before, never for them to actually join the Old Trafford club. These sagas seem to come back time and time again, just with different players now. Could a club like Benfica use United’s name to attract interest on the sale of a player? Of course they could, and seemingly they have, especially with Nicolás Gaitán, who eventually left for Atletico Madrid and is now playing in China for Dalian Yifang.

It was reported by talkSPORT back in March that United were interested in Talisca, also confirming the interest Mourinho had in the player when he was the Chelsea manager. The report stated that United were ‘closing in’ on the Brazilian in a £35 million deal, which is currently suggested to be €40 million, around the same figure, given the exchange rate currently. The report also stated that Wolves, recently winning promotion to the Premier League, were also interested in the player.

This season, Talisca has played 47 times for Besiktas, only seven of the appearances were from the bench. He has played in the Turkish Super Lig, the Turkish Cup, and the UEFA Champions League, scoring a total of 20 goals, also assisting seven times. The Brazilian predominantly played as a central attacking midfielder, but also as a right forward, a position United really need to strengthen this summer. Whether he is the right player to fill that void remains to be seen though.

Talisca has many strengths; finishing, long shots, direct free-kicks, and holding on to the ball. He also has many weaknesses; passing, defensive contribution, and tackling. His passing for the season stood at 80%, which is not that bad for a player who holds passing as a weakness. The 24-year-old’s style of play includes his love to play long balls, his ability to dribble, however, he does get fouled often and does not dive into tackles. Mourinho had an interest in the player, that continued the rumours, it remains to be seen if there is anything to see here.

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