Chelsea and Manchester United reportedly had their scouts present at Porto’s Champions League clash against Club Brugge on Tuesday. As it turns out, the two Premier League rivals are set to fight it out for rising Portuguese star Andre Silva.
As reported by Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo (h/t the Daily Star), the two most successful English clubs of the Premier League era were just two of the 26 clubs that had their scouts in attendance at the Estadio do Dragao. While clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus too had sent their representatives to Portugal, it has emerged that Chelsea and Manchester United were distinctively there to monitor Silva.
Portuguese international Silva continued his superb form this season on Tuesday night, as he scored the winner in the Group G clash in Porto. His exceptional touch in front of goal has seen him score nine times in 11 appearances for his club, at an impressive ratio of 126 minutes per goal scored. With several impressive displays at the start of the 2016/17 season, the 20-year-old striker has attracted attention from a gamut of clubs in Europe.
What has really caught the eye is Silva’s versatility as a forward. Even though he has primarily played as a centre-forward for Porto throughout his career, he has shown in an odd few games that he is equally adept at playing as a support striker as well. As far as his vast set of skills is concerned, Silva’s complements his eye for goal with an uncanny ability to dribble and link up play.
All this seeks to establish that he will add definitive quality to any side’s attack. With Manchester United finding it hard to score past their opponents currently, Silva could be the striker to put an end to their goalscoring woes. For Chelsea, the addition of the Portugal international will add strength in depth to their attacking riches. Additionally, he will also provide some healthy competition to Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi while providing Antonio Conte the freedom to try different systems when the going gets tough.
Silva joined Porto in 2011 as a 15-year-old academy prospect, and his meteoric rise through the ranks saw him earn a maiden call-up to the national side earlier this year. Securing the services of the talented striker might not be as easy as it seems though, after Silva signed a new five-year contract that also includes a £52 million release clause.