William Carvalho being linked with Manchester United seems to be a tradition as old as Christmas trees or the Ladbrokes News brew rota, but there could be a shock conclusion to the ongoing saga with Manchester City now favourites to sign the Portuguese powerhouse.
The 24-year-old shone at Euro 2016, scoring three crucial goals en route to a first ever major tournament triumph for A Selecao. And that impact has been matched by his performances at club level.
A key cog in Sporting Lisbon’s push for the Primeira Liga title this season, the former Cercle Brugge man has also produced standout displays against Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Legia Warsaw in a hugely tough Champions League group.
But with the Portuguese outfit unlikely to be challenging for European honours anytime soon, it’s looking increasingly likely the Luanda-born midfielder will jump ship shortly.
For the Citizens’ part, there’s plenty of logic in Pep Guardiola looking to replace the ageing Yaya Toure – especially in light of the pair’s apparently strained relationship.
In Carvalho, City would have an experienced, talented and powerful replacement, ready to slot into their ranks.
And if Transfermarkt.co.uk’s valuation of Carvalho at £22.5m is anything close to his actual price tag, the defensive midfielder could be available at a very generous price.
Meanwhile, 18/1 says the hosts beat the Blues 3-0 for the third time in four meetings.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing