September 18, 2020
Manchester United have reportedly agreed a five-year contract with FC Porto left-back Alex Telles according to a report by French journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi, although David Ornstein suggests that neither Porto or the Brazilian have any agreement in place. The 27-year-old’s current contract at the Portuguese club will expire at the end of the season and the club would rather sell the player this summer, rather than see him leave the club as a free agent. He could wait until January to sign a pre-contract agreement with a club away from Portugal, leaving on a free.
United were interested in Real Madrid left-back Sergio Reguilon earlier this summer but the inclusion of a buyback clause on the contract was something that United opted to steer clear of, as they should, which would make the prospective transfer seem like a glorified loan spell. The player will be signing for Tottenham Hotspur instead this summer. United would need certainty that the player wanted to play for United, and the buyback clause would not have given that impression.
Telles, 27, was on United’s radar earlier in the summer and Chelsea were also understood to be interested in the Brazilian. Frank Lampard instead opted for Ben Chilwell from Leicester City, signing the player for around £50 million. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to sign a left-back to rival Luke Shaw, who has had an injury ridden career at the Old Trafford club, ending last season on the sidelines, which something that United would need to avert with Brandon Williams lacking experience.
United have utilised their fullbacks to attack in matches, which has not been ideal as both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Shaw have both been under pressure at times defensively, which has cut their ability to break forward. It has not always been like that though. Last season at Porto, Telles made a total of 49 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals and 12 assists, which is a 25 goal contribution for the club, which would be great to see something similar at United, if the club is successful in signing there player.
Providing United find agreement of Porto and Paris Saint-Germain, who have held interested in the player, so not make a move, United might end the summer strengthening the left-back position at the club, which will go a long way into making the squad much stronger. it might also see Shaw being given a battle to keep his position at the club, also giving Solskjaer a rotation option and a more experienced head for both Shaw and Williams to learn from.
United will be seeking to sign two more players this summer, according to some reports, of which Telles could be one of. Jadon Sancho has been linked to United all summer and despite missing the deadline that was given by Borussia Dortmund, United still seem to be interested in their number one target this summer. It may well be that United make the move for Sancho and given that the club has agreed personal terms and agent fees, it would suggest that something was happening at some point. Although it might not end with Sancho playing for United but here is hoping.
Written by John Walker