Manchester United appear to be close to signing left-back Alex Telles from FC Porto, but face a potential last-minute hijacking of the deal.
The 27-year-old is out of contract at FC Porto in June and has been unable to reach an agreement on a new contract, with the player’s £71,000 per week demands proving way above the amount Porto are able to pay.
In the spring and early summer it looked a formality that French side Paris St Germain would sign Telles this summer, with Porto keen to sell rather than lose the player for nothing in June. However, the financial crisis caused by the pandemic caused PSG to perform a u-turn and give current left-back Layvin Kurzawa a contract extension instead.
This appeared to leave the Parisians out of the race for Telles, but their circumstances have now changed.
First, Kurzawa has received a six-match suspension after after kicking Jordan Amavi in the brawl with Marseille last week.
Kurzawa’s natural replacement, Juan Bernat, then suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury against Metz on Wednesday night, which could rule him out for at least six months.
This leaves PSG without an experienced left-back and could cause them to re-enter the fray for Telles, especially as FC Porto have now slashed their asking price to a bargain €20 million (£18.5m), first come, first served figure.
Indeed, the journalist who broke the news that United have agreed terms with Telles, Mohamed Bouhafsi, admitted that ‘PSG are also there, still thinking about whether or not to make a concrete move.’
Although Kurzawa only has five more matches of his suspension left, assuming PSG can afford the cut-price €20 million it almost seems like a ‘no brainer’ that they would go back in for a player whom they had clearly chosen to sign before, presumably at double the price – his €40 million release clause.
It would certainly behove United’s negotiators, Ed Woodward and Matt Judge, to close the Telles deal swiftly or risk losing out on yet another target because of inertia and ineptitude in their transfer business.