United and Arsenal in battle for Portuguese star

Manchester United and Arsenal are locked in a battle for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.

The Portuguese defensive midfielder, linked with a move to United since the January transfer window, was believed to be off the radar due to his club’s insistence that his £37 million release clause had to be met.

However Sporting have relaxed their stance in recent days and are not ready to accept a lower offer, believed to be around £24 million. The reduced price coupled with doubts over a deal for Juventus star Arturo Vidal has persuaded United manage Louis Van Gaal to re-enter the race for Carvalho.

The club are also looking at AC Milan and Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong as well as the fit-again Kevin Strootman from Roma but they could not switch their attentions to Carvalho.

The young midfielder caught the eye last season with a number of impressive performances and was one of Portugal’s best players at the world cup.

According to the Telegraph, United became aware of Carvalho’s new release price during the deal for Angel Di Maria with the two players enjoying the same representatives.

Van Gaal has made bolstering his defence and midfield his priority in the last days of the transfer window and in addition to the capture of di Maria has identified Daley Blind and Carvalho as options.

Arsenal are also keen on Carvalho however and with Champions league football on offer at the Emirates they could pip the Red Devils to the young star.

Not content with adding to his squad Van Gaal is looking to offload some of the flops that have contributed to a three game winless start to the season with Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez, Anderson and Tom Cleverley amongst those expected to leave.

Danny Welbeck is also tipped to move on with the club willing to listen to offers for the England forward.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.