Manchester United had scouts present to watch Benfica duo Anderson Talisca and Eduardo Salvio last night, during the Portuguese giant’s shock 1-0 loss to Pacos Ferreira.
According to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo - found here in e-paper format - the Red Devils sent representatives along with the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid, in order to gather details on more than one potential transfer target.
Double scouting trip
Of the players in question Talisca is probably the more prominent name, having been linked heavily with Chelsea in the past, and widely tipped to make a Premier League move. The young Brazilian, who has a release clause of £35 million, has nine goals in 18 Portuguese Liga games this term, and his accelerated development has led to him garnering a fine reputation.
Meanwhile Salvio is a slightly older right-winger who has five caps for Argentina and experience with Atletico Madrid. Any La Liga fans will remember him well from the 2011/12 season, where he played 48 games for Atletico over the course of the campaign, scoring eight goals.
Van Gaal plans
At the moment it’s unsure whether Louis van Gaal has asked his scouts to keep an eye on them because he is planning a last-minute January transfer window effort to clinch their signatures or sees them as useful additions for the future.
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Given that the Dutchman is believed to have funds to complete another huge overhaul of his squad supporters are more likely to throw their weight behind the idea of the latter, particularly with a number of current players looking close to an exit.
The planned exodus
At the moment both Darren Fletcher and Nani have futures bordering on the precarious, with the former seemingly set for a departure on a free and the latter reportedly having no place in Van Gaal’s plans for the future. Such casualties are to be expected as the Red Devils look to kick on with their resurgence, but they will naturally need replacing.
A host of other targets have been mooted for both this window and the next, but perhaps understated players like Talisca and Salvio are the more feasible options than illustrious alternatives.