Liverpool’s pursuit of Fulham starlet Fabio Carvalho is under threat from bitter rivals Manchester United.
The Merseysiders came close to sealing a £5million deal for the teenage winger last month, but narrowly failed to beat the transfer deadline.
And that has given encouragement to a number of other Premier league clubs interested in 19-year-old Carvalho – including United.
They recently sent scouts to watch the Portuguese-born, England Under-18s international in Fulham’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Manchester City.
Despite a 4-1 thumping for Marco Silva’s Championship leaders, Carvalho, who scored their only goal, impressed so much that United have checked him out twice more since.
And, according to sources inside Old Trafford, they are now planning a hijack bid this summer in a last-ditch attempt to stop him heading to Anfield.
That will be far from easy to pull off, however, with Liverpool having already negotiated a fee for Carvalho, who is out of contract in June.
That deal is likely to include an agreement for Jurgen Klopp ’s men to loan Carvalho straight back to the Londoners if, as expected, they win promotion into the top flight.
Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham have also been keeping an eye on the situation but are resigned to losing out – with Liverpool and United at the front of the queue.
Who will Fabio Carvalho sign for? Make your prediction in the comments section.
Carvalho first emerged on the Fulham first-team scene last term when making four Premier League appearances for Scott Parker’s relegated team.
He has maintained that rapid rise this time round under Portuguese coach Silva, becoming a vital figure in the club’s charge to the Championship summit.
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Before the trip to Cardiff yesterday, Fulham were TEN points clear of the Play-Off places and well on course for an immediate return to the elite.
And Carvalho had smashed eight goals in 22 appearances in all competitions to underline exactly why Klopp and Co are such big admirers.