Manchester United sent scouts to watch FC Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala in action at the weekend, according to reports.

The Daily Mail claims David Moyes – who was on his own scouting mission in Italy – sent a party to watch the one-cap French international defender in action yesterday against Benfica.

Whilst Mangala was on the end of a 2-0 defeat, he was being watched by a number of clubs, with Premier League rivals Manchester City also interested and also in attendance.

Reports in December claimed Manchester United would have to pay £40million to bring the player to Old Trafford – a fee that would make Mangala the most expensive player in the club’s history.

And, whilst that is sure to put off the Red Devils, it hasn’t stopped them from keeping up-to-date on the 22-year-old’s performances in the Primeira Liga.

The Premier League champions are struggling on the pitch this season, with Moyes finding life difficult in the shadow of Sir Alex Ferguson.

After initially failing to make a mark in the transfer window, things haven’t gone according to plan on the pitch either for Manchester United, and they find themselves off the pace currently being set at the top of the table.

Mangala would help shore-up the club’s creaking defence, but it will clearly come at a price.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: