Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is ready to bid £35million to sign Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius in the summer transfer window. The 25-year-old has been in great form this season as he has scored 20 goals and has provided 12 assists in just 36 appearances in all competitions.
Vinicius arrived from Napoli last summer for just £15m and his performances in his debut season at Benfica has attracted the attention of not just United, but also Liverpool.
The Brazilian striker is under contract until 2024 and has an £88m release clause.
However, according to The Sun, United are preparing to test Benfica’s resolve with a bid of £35m given the current market.
It would still mark a substantial profit for the Portuguese club, who are just one point behind league leaders, Porto, in the Primeira Liga.
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United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to add another striker to his squad this summer, having failed to bring in a permanent replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who left to join Inter Milan last summer.
In the January window, they brought in Odion Ighalo on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
And while the 30-year-old has performed well with a return of four goals in eight appearances, he might have already played his last game for the Red Devils.
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That is because Shanghai Shenhua expect Ighalo to return from his loan spell in time for the new Chinese Super League season, which is scheduled to begin in July.
And while United want to extend his loan spell until the Premier League season is concluded, Shanghai Shenhua will only allow this if the Red Devils sign him on a permanent deal.
If United could sign Vinicius for significantly less than his buyout clause, it could mark the end Ighalo’s hope of a permanent deal.
Vinicius’ professional career didn’t take off until a loan spell at Portuguese side Real SC in 2017, from his Brazilian parent club Gremio Anapolis.
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He was then signed by Napoli in 2018, although he never played in Serie A and instead was sent out on loan to Rio Ave and then onto Monaco before Benfica signed him last summer.
Speaking about United’s summer transfer plans Solskjaer admitted that while he is happy with his current squad, the club are always exploring the transfer market.
“We’re always looking to improve the squad,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.
“This uncertainty in the market now, who knows how football and the market is going to be, but I’m very happy with the squad I’ve got.
“Today’s world is different to what it was two months ago. We’ve got to adjust, adapt, there are clubs out there struggling more than us financially. It’s a new world, and I think the transfer market this summer will be completely different to what anyone thought it would be.”
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