New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is set to go to war with bitter rivals Arsenal in the pursuit of Sporting Lisbon midfield star William Carvalho.
The Red Devils manager has been embroiled in a will they-won’t they transfer saga with Arturo Vidal all summer but looks to have ditched all hope of landing the Chile and Juventus star in favour of the highly-rated Lisbon man.
Carvalho’s arrival on United’s radar raises questions about just who is identifying transfer targets at Old Trafford with Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Carvalho all the subject of interest under former manager David Moyes.
However, regardless of who is calling the shots, the £24m-rated midfielder is highly sought after and United will face stiff competition from Arsenal to win the 22-year-old’s signature.
United are already leading the Premier League summer spending charts after breaking the British transfer record to add Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria to the previous signings of Marcos Rojo, Shaw and Herrera.
However a return of one point from two league games, coupled with the humiliating 4-0 League Cup loss to MK Dons, has forced LVG to move quickly to plug the gaping holes in the defensive third.
United will be confident of beating Arsenal to the midfielder’s signature after conducting several successful deals with the Portuguese giants over the years and recently boosting their squad with the loan of Nani.
While United are clearly willing to back their new manager in the transfer market Van Gaal has been told he must at least attempt to balance the books and this could mean Old Trafford exits for the likes of Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Anderson.
United will attempt to get their season back on track with a win against Burnley this weekend and odds of 8/15 suggest the Red Devils will do just that but if the 14/1 odds on a title win are to fall then signings of Carvalho’s ilk are a must.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.