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Manchester United 'Open Talks' Over William Carvalho Transfer

11/03/2014 08:25 GMT | Updated 11/03/2014 08:59 GMT

Manchester United have reportedly opened talks with Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.

The 21-year-old holding midfielder has been identified as an additional presence to add steel to what is widely regarded as United's weakest area.

Sporting are believed to value Carvalho at £29 million, which would take David Moyes' spending up to £93.6m, following the arrivals of Marouane Fellaini and club-record buy Juan Mata.

william carvalho

Carvalho could become the fourth Portuguese to play for United

Although Fellaini has performed well recently in the wins at Crystal Palace and West Brom, he experienced a dismal first five months at United as their lightweight midfield struggled without Sir Alex Ferguson's influence.

United's track record of dealing with Portuguese clubs is cause for trepidation, however. With the outstanding exception of Cristiano Ronaldo's £12.24m switch from Sporting in 2003, Nani continues to be an erratic winger nearly seven years after his move from Lisbon and the indisciplined Anderson, who joined at the same time from Porto, will be sold in the summer.

Bébé, a £7m buy from Vitória de Guimarães, is possibly the worst player in United history.

william carvalho manchester united

Ronaldo, Anderson and Nani: Great, bad and decent

Carvalho has won two Portugal caps and could be one of at least two possible midfield arrivals at Old Trafford. United hope to conduct most of their transfer business before the World Cup.

Moyes wanted to bring in two central midfielders last summer but ended up with just Fellaini during an amateurish summer window for the champions. United had bids rejected for Barcelona's Cesc Fàbregas, Roma lynchpin Daniele de Rossi and Real Madrid's Sami Khedira.

Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos yesterday said a move to the Premier League was a "possibility" and has been watched by Moyes twice, while United are also interested in Borussia Dortmund No.8, İlkay Gündoğan.

United's record signings