Manchester United are reportedly seeking to agree personal terms with FC Porto midfielder Vitinha according to Jonathan Shrager. It has been suggested for the last week or so that United have an interested in the 22-year-old Portuguese international – but are not the only suitors of the player.
Vitinha has a contract that expires in Portugal in the summer of 2024, so has two years remaining at his club. However, it would seem that FC Porto would like to sell the player as long as his €40 million (£34.4 million) is met – which is the lowest they would sell the player for this summer.
Portuguese journalist Pedro Sepúlveda has also confirmed the €40 million release clause for the player, also confirming that Paris Saint-Germain are also discussing whether to pay that fee to sign the player this summer. United clearly lack time if they are interested in signing him.
It could well be that Vitinha is seen as an alternative for Frenkie de Jong this summer, with talks to sign the Netherlands International seemingly stuttered at this time with Barcelona wanting a guaranteed €85 million for the player and United not yet reaching that fee.
The fact that PSG have now entered the race for Vitinha could see United hurry if there was an option for him to be signed alongside De Jong. But given the fact that United have also made an offer for Christian Eriksen, who left Brentford after a six-month contract makes me wonder.
Vitinha is a central midfielder but can also play in the attacking midfield role and the left-midfield role – but has predominantly played as a central midfielder. Last season the 22-year-old made a total of 47 appearances, scoring four goals and five assists.
United do require significant reinforcement in the midfield this summer which is why Frenkie de Jong has been targeted and presumably Vitinha. With Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matić, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all leaving the club, spaces in the squad will need to be filled.
The one thing that United need desperately though is a defensive midfielder. That is something that has been long awaited for United and is required, especially in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Michael Carrick was never really replaced when he retired and he in effect replaced Roy Keane at the club.
It may well be that Vitinha is a secondary target should United not land De Jong this summer but with PSG in the running for the player, if these reports are in fact true, it could be that United would have all their eggs in one basket for De Jong unless there are other targets, which there must be.
Written by John Walker