Manchester United are reportedly lining up a £35 million move for Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius, according to reports. The 25-year-old striker has reportedly attracted interest from Premier League leaders Liverpool. United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking a new striker ahead of the 2010/21 season with Odion Ighalo set to return to China.
Vinicius is the current top scorer in the Primeira Liga in Portugal after scoring 15 goals this season before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. In total, playing in the Liga NOS, Taça de Portugal Placard, Supertaça, Allianz Cup, UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, Vinicius has 20 goals and 12 assists in 36 appearances.
United have been linked with a number of striker this summer from Ighalo, who was signed on a six-month loan spell in January, Moussa Dembele who was linked to the club last summer also to Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martínez – it is clear that Solskjaer will be seeking to bring in a striker this summer to bring in much-needed goals next season.
Vinicius started his youth career at Goiás Esporte Clube joining in 2009 and leaving the club in 2011, signing for Santos Futebol Clube. The striker stayed at Pele’s former club for three years, although he spent a season on loan with Desportivo Brasil. He left Santos for Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, staying there for only one year.
His senior career started at Associação Atlética Caldense, staying at the club for a season (2016/17) moving to Grêmio Esportivo Anápolis for the following season. He was loaned to Real Sport Clube during the same season (2017/18). Europe beckoned for the Brazilian with a €4 million move to Napoli and was loaned to both Rio Ave and AS Monaco.
The 25-year-old played 38 times for Real SC, scoring 20 goals and five assists. He never played for Napoli but during his two loan spells, he made 20 appearances, scoring 14 goals and two assists at Rio Ave, then 16 appearances, scoring two goals and two assists at Monaco. Vinicius signed for Benfica for €17 million, having a €100 million release clause.
Obviously, the big release clause is something that all Portuguese club add to young players contracts and they seldom receive that valuation. In this financial climate, with clubs recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, it is unlikely that any club will pay anything like that €100 million release clause with reports suggesting £35 million for the player.
United will not be seeking to pay big money for players this summer with rumours suggesting that a big money move for Jadon Sancho has been shelved until next summer, which may be a better climate for the club to make big money singings. This summer, Solskjaer is seeking players that will improve his squad and not cost the earth.
Vinicius has a good number of goals this season and playing in a team which could consist of Bruno Fernandes, who also came from the Portuguese league, there could be a lot of chances created for the striker, who could help United score the goals needed to change their fortunes after spending seven seasons not challenging for the Premier League title.