Manchester United are interested in signing Santos midfielder Thiago Maia, according to ESPN Brazil.
The report claims the Red Devils are closely following Maia’s progress at the Brazilian giants and could make a move for him in January.
However, the news outlet goes on to suggest United would face competition from Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, with the French champions prepared to offer £17m for the 19-year-old.
Maia, who won Olympic gold with the Under-23 Brazilian national team at last summer’s Rio Olympics, plays as a defensive midfielder and has made 33 appearances in all competitions for Santos since the start of the domestic season.
Santos are currently fighting for the Brazilian Serie A title, but are trailing six points behind Palmeiras with 2 games to go, so their chances of winning the trophy for a 9th time are only mathematical.
With Brazil’s domestic season set to end next month, Maia could be set to depart his hometown club for one of the major European leagues as early as January.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window and could decide to bring another defensive midfielder to Old Trafford, as his team has been struggling for defensive solidity since the start of the season.
Maia could be a very good option for United as he’s certainly talented enough to make it in Europe and despite being only 19 years old, is already an established international.