After presiding over a 3-0 loss to Liverpool, Manchester United manager David Moyes may have watched the Lisbon derby played later that same day with a simmering sense of “what if” regarding Sporting star William Carvalho.
The Red Devils have long been linked with a move for the highly-rated Portuguese who, as a defensive midfielder by trade, would have no doubt added some much needed steel in the centre of the park against the Merseysiders.
He was in his element at Estádio José Alvalade this weekend, playing a key role as Sporting continued their remarkable renaissance with a 1-0 win over old rivals Porto that leaves them four points off leaders Benfica and nearing a potential return to the Champions League.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are 28/1 to finish in the top four in the Premier League, with the 2/5 offered by Ladbrokes on a top six finish looking the most likely result for the struggling Red Devils.
It could have all be so different for Moyes had the club made a January move for the 21-year-old, whose form has translated to a call up to the Portugal national team, with a place in Paulo Bento’s squad looking an increasingly realistic prospect for one of the hottest properties in world soccer.
Cristiano Ronaldo and co can be backed at a distant 25/1 to win the World Cup in Brazil and should Carvalho maintain the kind of form enjoyed so far this term, that could be a price to look out for.
In the meantime, Moyes may look to a summer move for the youngster, with reports from the Mirror indicating that Manchester United will look to land the midfielder come the end of the current season.
Having already impressed in the pressurised atmosphere of a Lisbon derby that has title ambitions and Champions League qualification riding on it, he could be just the acquisition to help ease in a new era at the club and erase the memory of previous Portuguese top flight flop Anderson once and for all.
Moyes made a mistake in not moving for the player back in January, but he could and should start United’s summer with a bang if he lands the one man who could marshal Manchester United’s midfield into shape.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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