Liverpool appear to have stolen a march on their arch rivals Manchester United off the pitch as well as on it this season, following the news that the Merseysiders are now favourites to sign Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho, according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo.
The 22-year-old has attracted interest from a number of European clubs following a string of successful appearances for Leonardo Jardim’s side, which earned him a call up to the Portugal senior side earlier in the season.
With a reported release clause inserted into his current contract that is worth roughly £37 million, any club that wants to prise the youngster away from Portugal will have to pay a premium price, given how highly he is rated at the Estádio José Alvalade.
Sporting Lisbon’s president ruled out a move for Carvalho, but he has continued to acquire potential suitors.
The Red Devils were believed to be frontrunners to sign Carvalho but it now seems the uncertainty over their managerial vacancy has complicated matters.
During David Moyes’ tenure, interest from Old Trafford was reportedly strong, but since the Scot has been sacked the club’s pursuit of the midfielder has waned.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have recently sent scouts to watch Carvalho in action during Sunday’s fixture against Estoril, reports Sport Witness, and have jumped ahead of their rivals in the pecking order.
Manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to bolster his squad ahead of their Champions League campaign and would be wise to make a move for Carvalho before the World Cup, as his price could rise further if he performs well.
William Carvalho has accumulated eight yellow cards in 28 appearances for Sporting Lisbon this season.