Sporting Lisbon wonderkids put Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd on red alert

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly planning a raid on two of Sporting Lisbon’s brightest prospects this summer.

The Portuguese outfit have enjoyed an incredible season in the Primeira Liga, staying unbeaten in their 29 matches so far.

Despite losing their star performer in Bruno Fernandes in January last year, Ruben Amorim’s side are six points ahead of FC Porto with five games remaining as they bid to claim their first league title in 20 years.

However, the club’s finances have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and it could force them to raise funds through player sales.

The famous academy which produced the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Nani has delivered another batch of highly-rated youngsters — and Premier League teams are keeping a close eye.

Fernandes has been a huge hit since arriving at Old Trafford 16 months ago and, according to Record, the playmaker has given his seal of approval for United to recruit teenage starlet Nuno Mendes.

The 18-year-old shot to stardom in an impressive campaign where he has started 25 Liga matches for Sporting and has already won three caps for Portugal.

United could face a battle for Mendes’ signature, however, with the Reds searching for reinforcements at left-back amid doubts over Kostas Tsmikias, who has featured only six times for the Reds since signing from Olympiacos.

The fact that Mendes only recently extended his contract at Estadio Jose Alvalade in December 2020 could prove a sticking point, with his release clause standing at £60.9m.

But United could hold the edge in negotiations given Fernandes and Mendes are represented by the same agent, Miguel Pinho.

  • Arsenal chief Edu on brink of landing Sporting Lisbon sensation for 'over half-price'

Sporting could also struggle to hang on to their promising striker Tiago Tomas amid long-term interest from Arsenal.

A Bola report the north London side have shown an interest in signing the 18-year-old, who has struck six goals in all competitions this season.

The Portuguese forward has emerged as one of the biggest talents in the country and Sporting were quick to tie him down to a new deal until 2025 last year.

With a minimum release clause set at £52m and the club reluctant to part with one of their prized assets, it may take a substantial bid to force their hand, although the report mentions Gunners sporting director Edu is considering an opening offer of £20m.

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