Man United must fend off Barcelona and Real Madrid for Portuguese assist-king

Manchester United have been linked with Sporting Lisbon’s Gelson Martins for much of 2016, but now it appears the Red Devils will face stiff competition from Spain’s finest.

Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are reportedly keen on the 21-year-old winger, who is quickly emerging as one of Europe’s hottest prospects.

Martins is a product of the Sporting Youth Academy, something which United hold in great esteem after the success of Cristiano Ronaldo, and to a lesser extent, Nani.

The Cape Verde native made his first-team debut in the 2014-15 campaign, but it was last season where Martins really emerged on the scene.

Notching up 42 appearances across all competitions, Martins supplied seven goals and four assists.

Impressive stats for a man who had yet to turn 21, and this season his figures have cranked up another notch.

It’s not yet November but Martins has already contributed a stunning six assists from just seven league games, in addition to a pair of goals too.

From a United perspective that sort of form may be a little too good however, having alerted Barca and Real to the Sporting star.

Valued at a shade over £5m by, Martins’ contract runs until 2021 and it includes a hefty £54m buy-out clause.

But for a man who has already broken into the Portugal national team, and is quickly en route to becoming one of the continent’s finest wingers, Martins may well justify that fee for any prospective buyers.

It now seems however, that United face familiar foes in the fight for Europe’s next big thing.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing