Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on William Carvalho and Alexis Sanchez

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal smiles after Netherlands' Arjen Robben scored the opening goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and the Netherlands at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Manchester United have gotten their transfer business going for the summer with the signing of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and have reportedly sealed long-term target Luke Shaw from Southampton, as per BBC Sport.

While these are both strong signings for the Red Devils and new boss Louis van Gaal, a handful more quality players are needed to get United back to winning ways after a dire 2013-14 season.

They still need further strength in the midfield and have been linked with a variety of stars from across Europe.

Here is the latest news on potential targets Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho.

 

Carvalho Hints at Move

MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 22: Jermaine Jones of the United States is challenged by William Carvalho of Portugal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between the United States and Portugal at Arena Amazonia on June 22, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (
Warren Little/Getty Images

With Portugal having been knocked out of the World Cup in Brazil, the 22-year-old Carvalho seemed to hint at a move away from Sporting, as per MaisFutebol (via Daniel Feliciano of Sky Sports): "Will I stay at Sporting? I don't know. I'm going back to Portugal and then we'll see."

The young defensive midfielder has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford but previously seemed to dismiss the rumours, as per Feliciano's piece. However, he now seems open to a move.

According to Feliciano's report, William has a release clause set at €45 million (£36 million), a great deal of money for such a young player.

However, he has great potential and has already proven himself to be a terrific defensive shield lying deep in the midfield as well as a very intelligent reader of the game—so often in the right place at the right time.

His physical presence would add steel to a weak United midfield while his ball-winning abilities would allow the Red Devils a great deal more possession than they enjoyed last season under David Moyes, as well as giving them plenty of opportunities to counterattack. 

Having not played in Portugal's World Cup opener against Germany, he got 45 minutes in the 2-2 draw with the USA and a starting role in the 2-1 victory over Ghana. CNN's Duarte Mendonca noted the influence he had in the side:

Van Gaal would be taking a gamble signing Carvalho for such a large sum, but his consistent improvement for Sporting in the 2013-14 season was so marked that he looks ripe to become a world-class star.

 

Sanchez Bid in the Offing 

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 23:  Alexis Sanchez of Chile sings the National Anthem prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between the Netherlands and Chile at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 23, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/G
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Old Trafford outfit are reportedly set to offer Barcelona £22 million to sign their Chilean forward Sanchez, per Sam Adams in The Mirror.

The 25-year-old bagged 19 goals and 10 assists in La Liga for the Catalan giants, and he would add creativity and versatility to United's already impressive forward line.

He has starred at the World Cup in Brazil as Chile have made it through to the last 16 where they will face the hosts on Saturday.

However, United's chances of signing Sanchez may be compromised if Barca go ahead with their pursuit of Luis Suarez, as he could be used as part of a swap deal for Liverpool's Uruguayan striker, per John Cross in The Mirror:

Luis Suarez is being offered an escape route from his World Cup bite shame by Barcelona.

They are ready to offer Chile World Cup star Alexis Sanchez to the Reds as part of an £80million player-plus-cash deal, as they have not been put off by Tuesday's disgraceful incident.

Furthermore, Arsenal are reportedly interested in Sanchez, as per Cross, so United will likely face staunch competition for his signature. 

Though Sanchez would undoubtedly be a strong addition to United's side for Van Gaal, their forward unit is not necessarily where they lack quality and depth.

The central midfield area is a real cause for concern, thus the signing of Carvalho should be prioritised as he would add quality in the middle of the park and could be a long-term club star.

The Herrera and Shaw signings are statements of intent from United, but they must continue to build over the summer if they are to contend again for the Premier League next season. A quality midfield is an essential component.