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Barcelona step up interest in Man Utd’s ‘most-watched target’

| 17.02.2014

Manchester United’s long pursuit of Sporting Lisbon holding-midfielder William Carvalho could end in tears if La Liga giants Barcelona get their way.

According to reports, Red Devils boss David Moyes has had the 21-year-old watched a dozen times since he took over at Old Trafford, but the Scot’s hesitance to bid for the Angola-born youngster in January may prove costly come the summer.

The ailing English champions’ only chance of a trophy this term looks to be on the continent, and Moyes’ boys can be backed at 18/1 to salvage a miserable season by winning the Champions League in May.

That looks a tough ask with the likes of Barca – who are 5/1 third-favourites – and 13/5 jollies Bayern Munich still at large, and the Old Trafford club’s hoped-for summer rebuilding job may also be bulldozed by the pride of Catalonia.

A raft of top names from around Europe have been linked with a move to the north west as Moyes attempts to address the long-standing issues in the centre of the park at United.

Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford since the start of the season, although the Germany international’s persistent problems with his back have seen him sidelined at the Westfalenstadion since the first gameweek of the Bundesliga campaign.

Porto’s leggy Brazilian Fernando – who’s also interesting Manchester City – and Atletico Madrid playmaker Koke have been mentioned as possible targets, although neither have been scouted as extensively as Carvalho.

However, all that hard work may come to nought if Barcelona’s perceived interest in the player – who’s Sporting contract is thought to contain a £37m buy-out clause – is followed up with a firm offer once the transfer window reopens.

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

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Alex Fortune