Chelsea are set to step up their interest in William Carvalho, but will have to fight off Manchester United interest in a player that could cost them as much as £30million.
According to the Sunday People, Jose Mourinho has made his mind up about the 22-year-old and is preparing a bid to take Carvalho to Stamford Bridge. However, any pursuit will be of great interest to those at Old Trafford as the report claims he is a long-time target of the Red Devils.
Transfer tussle imminent?
Manchester United's new manager Louis van Gaal has a decision to make with regards to defensive midfield once he takes over after finishing his duties as Netherlands manager at the World Cup. The Old Trafford club have been criticised for a lack of bit in front of the back four and an addition in that area is expected.
Carvalho is a strong defensive midfielder and would provide more of a physical presence in midfielder, compared to what is already in the squad. Manchester United would not have to worry about losing any creativity either, as the Sporting Lisbon star has good passing ability.
Mourinho wants signings
Although their Premier League rivals have a long standing interest, it is Chelsea who the report claims are the ones ready to make the first move. It may need some negotiating, however, as the £11million sum mooted in the report is some way short of the £30million it claims Sporting want.
Nemanja Matic was signed in January to patrol the area in front of the Chelsea back four, and did so to great effect, so the bid for Carvalho may surprise some. Mourinho may need another player of that style this summer though, as the future of John Obi Mikel at Stamford Bridge has been called into question.
The Blues have also released club legend Frank Lampard, but the subsequent signing of Cesc Fabregas was believed to be the addressing of that issue. Meanwhile, Manchester United have been linked with a move for Nigel de Jong, who would be a more experienced option than Carvalho.