Manchester United and Liverpool look as if they could be set to miss out on the signing of Portugal midfielder William Carvalho.
According to talkSPORT, Inter Milan are now in pole position for the Sporting Lisbon starlet and are firm favourities to bring him to the San Siro - stealing a march on their Premier League rivals in the process.
21-year-old Carvalho has enjoyed a breakout season in Portugal, even winning his first senior international cap in a substitute cameo during his country's playoff second-leg victory over Sweden that secured qualification for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
Sterling form at domestic level for Sporting has seen midfielder Carvalho attract strong transfer interest, with Manchester United having been heavily linked with the £30 million-rated player in recent times.
Liverpool are also credited with an interest in Carvalho, but it looks as if both clubs will have to act quick to have any hopes of beating their Serie A rivals.
Inter appear to have enjoyed an injection of ambition since Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir became the major shareholder last year and could be major player's in the upcoming transfer market.
The news that Inter are now favourites will presumably come as a hefty blow to Manchester United, with their need for a new midfield presence having been made plainly obvious on a number of occasions already this season.
While 40-year-old Ryan Giggs performed admirably in a central-midfield berth for the club during their morale-boosting 3-0 win over Greek champions Olympiacos at OLd Trafford on Tuesday night - a victory that secured Manchester United's unlikely progression into the quarter-finals of the Champions League - he is unlikely to be a long-term solution.
Liverpool, meanwhile, boast am impressive midfield unit still spearheaded by legendary captain Steven Gerrard but manager Brendan Rodgers will presumably be on the lookout for several new recruits this summer with Champions League football set to make a long-awaited return to Anfield.
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