Manchester United reportedly had scouts at the Portuguese league clash between Pacos de Ferreira and Porto last weekend and would have come away impressed with two visiting stars.
The Red Devils are known to regularly send scouts to Portugal and according to A Bola they had eyes on the clash with Pacos and Porto, which the away side won 4-2 after a Man of the Match display from Vitinha.
Porto are currently flying in the Portuguese league and lead the way by six points. Some of that is down to the performances of the former Wolves midfielder.
O Jogo states that Vitinha produced a ‘monstrous exhibition from the genius’, who completely controlled all of their offensive actions in midfield.
The 22-year-old made 19 appearances on loan at Wolves last season, scoring once. But his performances this season have seen a number of clubs sit up and take notice, including United.
The report adds that another player who will have impressed is Mehdi Taremi.
The Iranian striker scored a goal and added two assists in the win over Pacos. That sort of performance stacks up on his overall stats. The 29-year-old has notched 40 times in 84 games for the Portuguese giants.
United were not the only team to have scouts watching on, however, with Leicester City, Atletico Madrid, Freiburg, Real Valladolid, Tenerife and Club Brugge also in attendance.
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Man Utd star faces uncertain future
Meanwhile, Manchester United look increasingly likely to be facing a fresh decision over the future of Axel Tuanzebe in the summer, according to reports in Italy that update the state of play for Napoli.
Tuanzebe came through the Man Utd academy ranks but has struggled to make a senior breakthrough. He endured three loan spells with Aston Villa, including one that saw him help them win promotion to the Premier League. But the third and final spell at Villa Park began to go wrong.
Indeed, the DR Congo-born defender was due to spend the entirety of this season with the Premier League outfit. However, his gametime decreased after Steven Gerrard replaced Dean Smith as their manager.
Consequently, Man Utd decided to cancel his loan arrangement in favour of one where he should – in theory – have played more. They chose Napoli as his next destination.
After the Serie A side sold Kostas Manolas just before the January transfer window opened, it was felt that Tuanzebe would be a logical replacement. However, he has only managed two appearances for his new club.
Napoli omitted him from their Europa League squad list before their play-off defeat to Barcelona for technical reasons. He has since also struggled with physical problems, particularly in his back.
Therefore, Gazzetta Dello Sport write that the chances of Napoli keeping Tuanzebe permanently are getting slimmer. That could become a dilemma for his parent club, who only have him under contract until 2023.
It has been a change of tune from Napoli, who despite the lack of an option to buy, have spoken openly in the past about negotiating a longer stay for the 24-year-old. Given what has been happening with him, they are now adapting their plans.
For now, Tuanzebe is following a personalised training plan in an effort to recover his fitness. While doing so, he is separate from Luciano Spalletti’s squad.
Whether he will have a place back at Man Utd in the future is doubtable. Only time will tell where Tuanzebe will be playing his football next season.
Tuanzebe treatment has been questioned
After Tuanzebe’s move to Napoli, one of his representatives questioned how Man Utd manage their prospects.
Fabrizio Ferrari told Radio Punto Nuovo: “I believe that Manchester United has made peculiar decisions for the growth of their young players. I don’t think they have a policy to improve their training.
“They are confusing in the management of players under contract. Tuanzebe has returned to these managerial changes.”
At the time, he insisted the versatile defender could be useful to his temporary takers.
He said: “Tuanzebe was chosen, he’s not a fallback.
“They were looking for a structured defender but with speed in his legs, and Axel married very well.
“He still has to express himself to the maximum but he’s very strong and can be very useful to Napoli.”
That is not proving to be the case due to his injury situation, meaning Man Utd may have to take him back and work out what to do in the summer.
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