Nuno Mendes has insisted his full focus is with Sporting CP amid rumours linking him with the likes of Chelsea and both Manchester clubs.
Mendes is one of the most promising young full-backs in Europe. He only made his senior debut in June 2020 but has since established himself as Sporting’s first choice on the left. They have tied him down to a long-term contract with a high exit clause, but are still fending off interest.
The Premier League could be a possible destination for Mendes, who has been linked with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
City need a more reliable option at left-back after Benjamin Mendy’s struggles with injury. Oleksandr Zinchenko has covered in that position, but it is not his natural role, so they could look to Mendes instead.
United only signed Alex Telles last summer, but he struggled to dislodge Luke Shaw from the starting lineup. There have been claims the Brazilian could swap places with Mendes.
And Chelsea have Ben Chilwell as their main left-back, but backup options Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso are both unsettled. Hence, they could need to replace them both in one go.
But Mendes does not seem to be thinking about a transfer just yet, even if his agent might be.
“I’m only focused on Sporting,” he told RTP3. “These things I leave with my agent.
“For me it is indifferent: I am a Sporting player and it is Sporting that I have to focus on, not on the other clubs because that is not important.
“It doesn’t matter to me; I talk to my agent, it’s normal but he’s the one who takes care of that.
“There are things that are true and false [about interest from European clubs]. Now I’m focused on Sporting and now on the European Championship.”
Mendes shares agent with Fernandes
One connection that could help Man Utd over their rivals in the race for Mendes is that he has the same agent as Bruno Fernandes.
The attacking midfielder moved from Sporting to United in January 2020 and Mendes could follow suit.
Last month, it was reported that the agent, Miguel Pinho, was travelling to Manchester. First and foremost, he was discussing Fernandes’ future at United, but it was speculated that Mendes could have been on the agenda too.
It was claimed at the time that a sale for Mendes is looking increasingly likely. Given United’s existing relations with Pinho, they could have the edge.
But it seems Mendes may be making his suitors wait as he focuses on his other commitments. He is in the Portugal squad for Euro 2020 and remains under contract with Sporting until 2025.
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