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Man Utd keeping tabs on progress of Sporting midfielder Morten Hjulmand

Manchester United and Barcelona are keeping a close eye on the progress of Sporting midfielder Morten Hjulmand ahead of the summer.

The Red Devils are likely to recruit a new defensive midfielder in the next transfer window with the prospect of Casemiro leaving the club.

The Brazilian star has endured a difficult second season with injuries and it has been reported that he could make the switch to Saudi Arabia soon.

Portuguese outlet Record (page 7) today claim that United are keeping a close eye on the progress made by Hjulmand with the Primeira Liga leaders.

United are not alone in the pursuit with Barcelona also tracking his performances this term.

Hjulmand would be a good replacement for Casemiro

The Danish star has been in splendid form for Sporting in the Portuguese top-flight this season. He has had a passing accuracy of 87 per cent over the campaign.

The 24-year-old has won 54 per cent of his duels with 1.9 tackles per game. He has made more than 5 ball recoveries per outing, losing possession on 8.4 occasions.

Hjulmand has attributes which are quite similar to Casemiro. He could be seen as a successor to the Brazilian if he were to head for the exit door this summer.

Barcelona are also said to be interested in the talented midfielder, but they are highly unlikely to afford him due to their ongoing Financial Fair Play issues with La Liga.

Hjulmand currently has a release clause worth €80 million (£68m), but Sporting are likely to negotiate a lesser fee for his services come the end of the campaign.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com