Manchester United Transfer News: Latest Gelson Martins, Jesper Karlsson Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2016

LISBON, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 23: Sporting CP's forward Gelson Martins from Portugal  in action during the Primeira Liga match between Sporting CP and Estoril Praia at Estadio Jose Alvalade on September 23, 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Manchester United are reportedly scouting Sporting CP’s promising winger Gelson Martins.

That’s according to Record (h/t Colin Harvey of the Daily Star) who noted the Red Devils have been impressed by the youngster’s showings this season. Martins has enjoyed a brilliant beginning to the domestic campaign and also shone in the UEFA Champions League against Real Madrid earlier in the season.

However, United may face competition for the Portuguese youth international, with Los Blancos also said to be admirers.

After coming through Sporting’s revered academy setup and breaking into the senior side in Lisbon last term, Martins has gone from strength to strength. Here’s a glimpse of what he is capable of:

While he has two goals and four assists already domestically, it was his display at the Santiago Bernabeu that saw many followers of the beautiful game sit up and take notice of this bright talent. Martins gave Marcelo, one of the finest full-backs in the game, a torrid evening, although Madrid eventually rescued a win late on.

Per OptaJohan, it was a performance full of attacking endeavour and refreshing directness from the winger:

United have had success buying players from Sporting before. Nani joined the club and was a regular fixture on the flanks during the tenure of Sir Alex Ferguson, while Cristiano Ronaldo grew into the best player on the planet after making the same move earlier. Martins is a winger in a similar mould to those two.

He’s the kind of player who would be welcomed at United. Martins possesses the versatility to operate on either flank, has blistering pace and an array of skills to get the better of opposition defenders. After the successes enjoyed by his compatriots who have made the move to Old Trafford, he may well be keen to follow a similar path.


Jesper Karlsson Discusses United Interest

Jesper Karlsson
Allsvenskan 2016
MB Media/Getty Images

Young Swedish forward Jesper Karlsson has spoken of his happiness at being linked with Manchester United this summer, while his club has also confirmed there was interest from the Red Devils.

"Of course it’s fun, but I cannot do anything more than just go out, do my best and perform," the 18-year-old Falkenbergs striker told Aftonbladet (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness) of the Red Devils links. "If they check and they think I’m good, that’s just a plus."

Additionally, Hakan Nilsson, the club’s director of football, noted United aren’t the only club keen on securing the 18-year-old. "It’s a possibility they [United] have expressed an interest," he told the same source. "Just like a number of other major clubs."

The teenager has made 27 appearances this term, netting eight goals in the process. Here’s a look at why United and others are reportedly taking a long look at him:

Of course, in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, United already possess a Swedish goalscorer supreme. With that in mind, if Karlsson does have a choice of clubs to move to in the future, the chance to work alongside the current Red Devils No. 9 could be a critical factor. There’s plenty any young forward can learn from the veteran goal-getter.

At the moment, United are well-stocked in the forward positions, with Marcus Rashford an able deputy to Ibrahimovic; manager Jose Mourinho also has Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney to call upon in this area.

Subsequently, it may not be the ideal time for Karlsson to make this significant step in his career, with minutes on the pitch surely his priority at this point.


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