Manchester United are apparently preparing to launch a transfer bid for £10 million rated Sporting Clube de Portugal’s 17-year-old left-back, Nuno Mendes, according to reports. The teenager has a year left ons his contract at the Portuguese club and seems to come with a glowing recommendation from a former Portuguese winger – not that one.
Former United winger, Nani, who now plays for MLS side Orlando City has given the Old Trafford club some advice about the fullback. It is stated that the 17-year-old opted not to sign a new contract at the Portuguese club, which could have lasted a further two years and now big clubs are expected to make moves for the player this summer.
Mendes has not yet played at first team level for his club, but has trained with Bruno Fernandes’ former teammates. Nani has clearly heard good things about the player, who is currently coming through the same academy he and Cristiano Ronaldo did. Nani spent eight years at United, heading back to Sporting before moving to Florida.
It is stated that Mendes, 17, is known for his lightning-quick speed, his dribbling ability, and his ability to contribute to attacking play – which is everything that United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking from a left-back. Granted, the club lies in good hands in that position now with Luke Shaw’s rise in form and the appearance of Brandon Williams.
United will need to think about the future, and Solskjaer will have this in his thoughts. A club like United, who will be seeking to bring through youth, whether from the home nations or beyond, is always going to keep an eye out for great talent in and around Europe. Mendes could be a player that the Norwegian manager could be seeking in the future.
It was reported that United held talks with Sporting back in January when they were concluding the deal for Fernandes, but were unable to complete a deal at the time. It is said that the relationship between United and Sporting is a good one, especially as both club have done a lot of business over the years; Ronaldo, Nani and Fernandes came from there.
United will face competition from clubs in Spain, who are seemingly ready to make a move for the player, but should United get involved, they might have some confidence that a deal could be done. Granted, the player may not be guaranteed first team football but if he does make the rise, Shaw could be at risk if his form drops, as could Williams.
However, Williams is able to play on both sides at fullback and at times this season, had played a wing-back role, so he has something else to offer the club in terms of footballing ability. It would seem likely that Mendes, if he ended up signing for United, could be a player for the future, seemingly making his impact at first team level in two or three years.
It is good that Nani seems to think well of United, recommending players he has heard good things about, which shows you the type of player he was. He never really fit in at United, seemingly losing form more often than not but he did do some impressive things for the club and won some major honours – something that he will never forget.