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Man Utd interested in Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha

Manchester United are interested in signing Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha this summer, The Mirror reports.

The Red Devils have endured a disappointing season in the Premier League so far. They face a tough challenge on their hands to finish in the Champions League places.

This could pave the way for another spending spree. The priority could be given to pursuing a top-class defensive midfielder that the club have been striving for recently.

Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic have all impressed in phases, but there has been a lack of consistency which has been evident over the course of the season.

According to The Mirror, the Red Devils are interested in a summer deal for Palhinha. The Portuguese signed a new contract at Sporting in December last year with a £50m release clause.

However, the Primeira Liga outfit are willing to accept a fee in upwards of £20m for his services this summer.

Our view:

Palhinha has built his reputation over the past 12 months where he has become a regular with the Portugal national side under manager Fernando Santos.

The 26-year-old likes to engage in challenges and has averaged an impressive 3.3 tackles and 1 interception per league game while winning nearly two aerial duels.

He also excelled with his strong concentration, something which has not been the case with McTominay and Fred, who tend to get caught out of position.

Matic has impressed with the limited playing time this campaign, but it is quite clear that he is no longer in his prime, and his limited mobility is a drawback.

Palhinha would be a quality upgrade on the trio. There may be some doubts whether the midfielder can cut in the Premier League with the high intensity.

However, his recent display against Manchester City suggests he may settle well. City won 5-0 against Sporting this month, but Palhinha still had a top showing.

The Portuguese won 10 duels alongside four tackles. He completed 89 per cent of his passes. The midfielder has shown that he can impress against the very best in Europe.

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