Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly “reserved” the purchase of Besiktas sensation Anderson Talisca ahead of the midfielder’s return to Benfica from his loan in Turkey, with Wolverhampton Wanderers also interested.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola (h/t Sport Witness) published a front-page decreeing United’s interest, and although both Besiktas and Wolves are also in the race, the Red Devils are said to be in talks to cut a €40 million (£35.4 million) deal.
Sport Witness mentioned Besiktas have a €21 million (£18.6 million) purchase option for Talisca at the end of his two-year loan (this summer) and are already negotiating to drop that figure.
One thing that seems certain is the Brazilian will not be returning to parent club Benfica to stay next season despite a recent contract extension.
Metro‘s Portuguese football expert Jan Hagen provided recent quotes from the player as to why:
Jan Hagen @PortuBall
Talisca on his renewal with Benfica: “Since my arrival[at Besiktas], I haven’t wanted to go back to Benfica. I renewed[my contract] against my will.” https://t.co/2284WoytyA
Talisca, 24, has lit up the Super Lig for the second successive season in 2017-18, scoring 16 goals and recording four assists in all competitions this term.
His performances have impressed so much that Brazil manager Tite has called the player into his most recent squad as preparations build toward the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia:
Paulo Freitas @Cynegeticus
Tite has announced the Brazilian squad for the upcoming games against Russia and Germany, including Neto, Geromel, Talisca and Willian José. https://t.co/hXuBuczOoS
Wolves lead the Championship and look set for promotion to the Premier League after benefiting from the heavy investment that’s come since the 2016 takeover of Chinese consortium Fosun International.
The club has spent particularly large sums on Portuguese players, mostly from the Primeira Liga, such as Ruben Neves from Porto, Helder Costa from Benfica and Ivan Cavaleiro from AS Monaco in France.
It’s suggested by Sport Witness that reports of United and Wolves’ interest could be exaggerated to apply pressure on Besiktas, who could also buy the player with the intention of selling on in the same transfer window.
In any case, Talisca’s performances in Turkey this term have showcased an elite creative talent and superb long-range scoring potential, the former of which Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News has said United lack:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
@SamRafferty316 Doesn’t that just symbolise the turgid football United have played recently? They need innovation and creativity, and the only midfielder who offers any is Pogba.
Talisca’s entry into Selecao contention stands as evidence of his evolution on the highest stages of football, although Mourinho could be forced to shuffle his tactics to fit the attacking midfielder into his lineup.
United’s chief looks to have capitalised upon some Portuguese connections should rumours of a reservation to sign Talisca prove genuine, giving the Red Devils the option to sign one of Europe’s most exciting emerging talents.