Manchester United want to add Porto left-back Alex Telles to their squad before the transfer deadline on Monday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to add depth with Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams his current options in the position.
Porto are in financial strife and are keen to sell the 27-year-old in the current window.
United chief Ed Woodward is playing hard ball though and will not meet the £16.3m (€18m) the Portuguese outfit wants.
That’s because Telles will be out of contract at the end of the season, meaning he would be available for free if he signed a pre-agreement in January.
United have had a slow transfer window so far with Donny van de Beek the only new arrival at Old Trafford.
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That’s despite the Red Devils being linked with a move for Jadon Sancho all summer long.
That saga looks like running all the way to deadline day with Telles likely to arrive before the Borussia Dortmund man.
The sale of Chris Smalling could provide the money to put United in a strong position into getting Porto to sell.
Discussions are ongoing between United and Porto, Express Sport understands.
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Telles would compete with Luke Shaw for a starting berth at Old Trafford with the right-footed Brandon Williams more likely to deputise to Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The Manchester Evening News claim the Red Devils will not pay over the odds for Telles though.
Transfer expert Gabriele Marcotti says Telles’ arrival on his own will not have the same effect on the backline.
“Yeah I’m familiar with Alex Telles,” Marcotti told ESPN FC.
“Alex Telles is one of those people who is permanently linked to big clubs and big moves over the years.
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“He’s an attacking wing-back, who is a talented attacking wing-back.
“I don’t think it’s going to be Alex Telles alone [to solve United’s problems]. I don’t think this is a Bruno Fernandes situation.
“I think United’s issues probably have more to do with centre-back frankly than needing a left-back, though obviously they could use an upgrade in both positions.
“But I think some of what we saw isn’t going to be solved by taking Luke Shaw out and putting another guy in there. I think the issues run far deeper than that.”
United return to action tomorrow night in the Carabao Cup against Brighton.
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