Manchester United's signing of Memphis Depay signalled a shift back to Sir Alex Ferguson's tried and tested method of concluding transfer negotiations early, allowing players maximum time to bed into the squad before the season starts.
With Champions League qualification secured Louis van Gaal can start planning for the summer and, according to various media outlets, 20-year-old Ghanaian midfielder Bernard Mensah could be the next player through the door at Old Trafford.
Mensah has enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season with Vitória Guimarães in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, leading to interest from clubs throughout Europe, but Manchester United's strong links in Portugal look to have secured them the highly-rated midfielder in a £10 million deal.
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Born in the Ghanaian capital Accra, Mensah began his playing career with Feyenoord Ghana who, as the name suggests, were founded by Dutch side Feyenoord.
The academy was set up in 1998 by Jorien van den Herik, chairman of Feyenoord at the time, with an aim to progress the careers of young Ghanaian footballers. Rather than head to Holland, Mensah joined Vitória in 2012, initially playing for Os Branquinhos' youth and reserve side before making a goalscoring debut for the senior in August 2014.
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The 20-year-old followed his debut up by scoring twice against Penafiel in his next match, quickly becoming an integral part of Rui Vitória's side.
What can he bring to Manchester United?
Mensah offers something different to United's current midfielders due to his ability to carry the ball out of midfield and drive at the opposition.
At 5ft 11in Mensah is not as imposing physically as the likes of Paul Pogba and Yaya Toure, but he is stockier and has a quicker change of acceleration with the ball.
His range of passing isn't fantastic but his ability to work tight spaces with one touch passing and explode out of midfield has caught the eye on numerous occasions in Portugal this season.
Mensah's ability to play in midfield and on the wings will endear him to Van Gaal, who has switched between a diamond formation and 4-3-3 at times this season, often asking his players to be tactically flexible and play in various positions.
While still raw, Mensah has terrific attributes that would seem well suited to the pace of the Premier League, although United will have to make a case that the player is worthy of a work permit due to the fact he is yet to play an international match and therefore does't automatically qualify.
It appears that the deal is nearing completion, with Mensah telling Ghanaian Allsports: "It is true that Manchester United want me.
“I have not spoken with anyone at Manchester United but I know that there are negotiations with my club.”
Negotiations have been eased due to the presence of Mensah's agent Jorge Mendes, although his third-party ownership of the midfielder would have to be worked out in order for the move to be ratified by the Premier League.
United fans have reason to be slightly wary when dealing with Mendes and Vitória, given last time the three negotiated it was over the transfer of Bebe in 2010.
However the signs this season have been encouraging for Mensah and with the deal concluded before the season has even finished United supporters should be able to get a good look at him this summer.
Do you think Mensah has what it takes to play for Man Utd?
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