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United eye Portuguese winger

images (1)Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Sporting Lisbon’s winger Carlos Mane, after the 19-year-old impressed with at the Next Gen series and scored once in four games for Portugal at the U19 European Championship this summer.

United have obviously got a long history in terms of signing players from the Portuguese giants, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani both developing through the ranks of Sporting’s academy before joining United and the Mane could be the latest talented winger to emerge from the green and whites’ youth system.

The diminutive 19-year-old can play on either wing, although he prefers to be deployed on the right, and has seldom being utilised as centre-forward, a position, however, in which he suffers from a distinct lack of height.

Mane, who has been with the Lisbon club since he was seven, enjoyed a remarkable season with Sporting’s B team in the Portuguese second tier last season and has recently been handed his first team debut, as he came off the bench to play a handful of minutes in the wins against Vitoria Setubal and Maritimo.

The Portuguese’s release clause stands at £1m and while United won’t rush into any deal, they’re likely to keep monitoring Mane, who’s represented Portugal at every level from Under-15s to Under-19s and who might just develop into the sort of player to keep eyes on in the future.

Obviously excelling in the Portuguese second league doesn’t guarantee that Mane will become a top player, in fact the youngster must first prove himself and nail down a starting spot for Sporting, but it’s nice to see United’s scouts following an unbeaten trail for once.

Whether United will follow up their interest with an offer or not, one can only hope for Mane’s sake that he follows into the path of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, rather than becoming just another Bebe.

Meanwhile, for those who enjoy scouting players via YouTube, here’s a clip of the young Portuguese. But remember, even Bebe looked good online.