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United "open talks" with Sporting's Carvalho

According to the papers, Manchester United's link with Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho has developed from a simple interest into an exciting action.

Michael Regan

Sporting Libson, the stripier of the two big Lisbon clubs and former home of the young Cristiano Ronaldo, have a central midfielder called William Carvalho. He is 21 years old, he is generally well regarded by regular watchers of Portuguese football, and he has played a couple of times for the international side. He has a thin pencil moustache.

It is not known whether he prefers to be known as Bill. Our sources are working on that.

And Manchester United are going to buy him, definitely maybe perhaps. The general consensus around paper-land — apparently beginning with either the Sun or the Daily Mail — is that United have "opened talks" with Sporting. This doesn't appear to mean that United have done anything so concrete as making a bid, and so it is left to the imagination of the reader.

So, er, Sporting. Going anywhere nice this summer?

Hi, Sporting! Just in the area, thought I'd pop in. Somebody said you wanted to talk about William Carvalho?

Man, Sporting, it's so depressing. All this money lying around, and not a single young dynamic Portuguese central midfielder to spend it on ...

Relevant, possibly, are quotes from Bill himself — it'll catch on, give it time — a few days ago. The lad apparently mused to the national press "It could be Manchester United or Real Madrid. It's just nice to have a great European club after me."