Manchester United have begun contact of Porto defender Alex Telles and Watford winger Ismaila Sarr.
The Guardian reports that United have offered £12 million for Telles, the Porto left-back. The 27-year-old is older than most players that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer usually looks to bring in, but because he has just a year to run on his current deal he is deemed to be reasonable value.
His current club want £18 million for him, so United are still quite far apart relatively in valuation, if not in absolute terms. The club believe they may be able to drive down the price because the Brazilian can leave for nothing next summer and sign a pre-contract to that effect in January. The problem with waiting for him, of course, is that United need a better player than Luke Shaw now, not this winter or next summer. The late arrival of Bruno Fernandes, for example, may have cost a run at second place last season, however unlikely that looks now.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph claims that United have also made enquiries over Watford’s 22-year-old Senegalese international Sarr. United may try to strike a loan arrangement but the Not London club would prefer a permanent deal.
Sarr is rated at around £45 million, which is a sizeable fee particularly during the coronavirus pandemic after its impact on United’s finances.
He would though represent a cheaper alternative to Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho. There have been reports that United are going to make a late move for the 20-year-old England international but it is hard to see a deal being struck at this late stage. If United are now looking at a player who might cost less than Sancho, then it may be the case that Ed Woodward and the club were never really serious about buying the player once the coronavirus hit.