Manchester United must agree a deal with Porto today if they are to bring Alex Telles to Old Trafford before Monday’s 11pm transfer deadline. Porto are holding out for at least £18million for the left-back, who is out of contract in Portugal in 12 months’ time.
Due to his contract situation, United are reluctant to meet Porto’s asking price for the defender, who it has been claimed is keen on the move.
United had shown interest in Real Madrid’s Sergio Reguilon but refused to agree to a buy-back clause, with Tottenham accepting Los Blancos’ demands and signing the Spaniard for £27.5million instead.
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They have signed moved on to Brazil international Telles but have struggled to broker a deal, just as they have with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has only offered around half of Porto’s price tag in negotiations, it has been claimed by The Telegraph.
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And United are in trouble if they do want to sign Telles as the same report claims if they are to do so, an agreemnet must be reached today.
The left-back will fly out to his homeland to represent his home country in World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru over the international break.
And it is claimed sources are increasingly pessimistic that United will agree a deal for Telles because Porto are demanding £18m.
United are determined not to overpay for the player, who they know they could sign on a pre-contract agreement on January 1.
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That would allow Telles to link up with the Red Devils for free as of the summer of 2021.
It has even been suggested that though Porto were expected to reduce the price tag for Telles, they are actually asking for even more than £18m into the final days of the window.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been keen to add an attack-minded left-sided full-back to compete for minutes with Luke Shaw and the right-footed Brandon Williams.
Discussing United’s lack of signings on Friday, the Norwegian coach – who has only added Donny van de Beek to his squad from Ajax so far this summer – said: “The window is still open for a little while and the club have been working hard and know my view.
“We’re here to strengthen, in the long term as well, but I’m not going to say what’s acceptable for us or other teams in this difficult period.
“You know, the main thing now obviously is to get results on the pitch. We need to get results and how we get results on the pitch, there are many, many ways to improve the team.
“We’re working here, inside the four walls and on the pitch, to get better.
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“I keep reading about players that should be playing, instead of ones that are playing, so that tells me I’ve got a strong squad.
“We need to keep fit and keep injury-free, but there’s more competition for places now.”
But European football expert Julien Laurens thinks that even if United sign Telles, they may struggle to qualify from their Champions League group.
United were drawn in a group with Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday.
“Even if they make a move, even if they sign Alex Telles for example at left-back, I’m still not sure that they will go through that group stage,” Laurens told ESPN FC.
“I think Leipzig is a very dangerous team, I think it is a very tricky draw for United.
“We will see the scheduling and fixture list and when they play who and where, and maybe then we will have a better idea.
“But it’s a very difficult draw I think for them for the top-two finishes because I think PSG will finish first in the group and it will be between Leipzig and them.
“Right now I think Leipzig have a lot more momentum than United have.”
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