Manchester United, Portugal and Jorge Mendes – it's a combination that has seen some of the best and worst signings in English history happen. It all started with the movement of a certain skinny 18-year old kid called Cristiano Ronaldo who came in from Sporting Lisbon via 'super-agent' Mendes.
Rumour has it, Mendes and United may be about it strike gold again. Scouts from the English club were in attendance at the magnificent Estadio da Luz to watch Benfica's 4-0 win over Feirense. They had their eyes trained on 19-year Portuguese star Goncalo Guedes – the young Benfica winger dubbed the 'New Cristiano Ronaldo'.
Last year he had 7 goals and 10 assists in 36 matches – including a goal in the Champions League against Atletico, which made him the youngest Portuguese player to score in the group stages of the UCL. This season Benfica have made him their attacking hub and moved him into a trequartista role as a reward for having committed his future to the club. He's already scored in the Champions League, and 2 assists in the Portuguese league.
Coach Rui Vitoria moved him into the center to try and fill in the big holes left by the departures of Nico Gaitan (to Atletico) and Renato Sanches (to Bayern). He may not have scored much this season, but he's been at the hub of everything good the Lisbon side have done this season.
He has five years left on his new contract, but it appears that he may just be the newest big-money signing to come out of Portugal.
He's already played twice for the Portugal senior side, but his foreseeable future is with the Portugal U-21 side, where he is tipped to be the main man as they prepare for the qualifiers ahead of next summer's Euro U-21 finals.
It wasn't just United either – with scouts from Juventus, Valencia, Osasuna, Middlesbrough as well as a couple of Bundesliga clubs, in attendance to see Benfica thrashed Feirense. Jose Mourinho's close relationship with Mendes, not to mention Ed Woodward's , may just give United the edge as they aim to sign the budding Portuguese star.
For more articles like this and all the news related to the wide world of football, please click here.