Manchester United have held personal meetings with Wllliam Carvalho's agent Jorge Mendes with regards to a late summer move, reports The Daily Express.
Mendes arrived in Manchester earlier this week to help seal Angel Di Maria's British record transfer to Old Trafford. It is now believed Mendes is still in the vicinity and has held talks with Louis van Gaal over a potential move for the Sporting Lisbon star.
Mendes has informed Manchester United officials that Sporting Lisbon are ready to accept a significantly reduced fee for the defensive midfielder. Their original asking price has been lowered from around £36 million to a shade under £24 million.
Not only are they willing to accept a smaller fee, the Portuguese club are also willing to accept a structured deal, allowing Manchester United, or any other interested party, to spread out the payment. Sporting want £20 million upfront, with the remaining £4 million coming in the form of installments and performance related bonuses.
The discount could tempt Van Gaal into abandoning his late move for Arturo Vidal. Juventus are believed to want £34 million for the 27-year-old, despite concerns over the welfare of his right knee.
Vidal had surgery earlier this summer and noticeably struggled at the World Cup with Chile. Van Gaal is all too aware of the risks involved in signing an unfit player, which may push him further towards Carvalho.
The news is certain to anger Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has reportedly earmarked Carvalho as his fifth and final summer signing. Arsenal have already had a £24 million bid rejected for the Portugal international and are believed to be preparing another after sealing Champions League qualification.
However, Mendes's relationship with Manchester United following the Di Maria deal gives the Red Devils a clear advantage over the Gunners. Arsenal could persuade Carvalho to the Emirates Stadium with the lure of European football, but Manchester United would certainly be able to offer bigger wages.
What is certain is that if Carvalho is to move to either Arsenal or Manchester United, the two clubs will have to act fast. Carvalho's rights are owned in part by a third company and as Van Gaal will tell you, it will certainly slow down negotiations.
In fact the deal that took Marcos Rojo to Old Trafford was significantly delayed due to similar circumstances. With just five days left in the transfer window, negotiations will have to be swift.