Chelsea have reportedly entered the race to sign Portuguese wonderkid Nuno Mendes from Sporting CP, with the teenage full-back also on the radars of Manchester United.
According to a report from Portuguese publication Record, Chelsea have joined Manchester United and Manchester City in the race for the transfer of Portuguese teenage sensation Nuno Mendes from Sporting CP in the summer.
Having come through the ranks at Sporting, Mendes burst onto the scenes last year, making his senior debut in the post-lockdown period and has never looked back since. The 18-year-old has grown into a regular in the side under Ruben Amorim and played a key role in the Lions’ Liga NOS title triumph in the 2020/21 season.
Mendes ended the campaign with a return of one goal and two assists from 35 appearances across all competitions. His development over the course of the past year has resulted in interest from across Europe, with Manchester United said to be keen on his signing. The Red Devils have Luke Shaw and Alex Telles as options at left-back currently, both of whom enjoyed solid seasons.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also has young Brandon Williams as an option at his disposal, although there is a strong possibility that he is sent out on loan. As for Telles, Manchester United are willing to use him as a makeweight in a potential deal to secure Mendes’ signing from Sporting.
Manchester City are also keen on signing Mendes as per the report. The newly-crowned Premier League champions have Oleksandr Zinchenko and Benjamin Mendy vying for the left-back slot along with Joao Cancelo, who has often been used on the left-side of the defence this season. In addition, Nathan Ake can also play at left-back, meaning Pep Guardiola has the position covered.
However, Mendy, throughout his time at the Etihad, has struggled with injuries, which has limited his game-time. So, there could be a possibility that the Cityzens decide to move him on, with the Frenchman linked with a shock move to Real Madrid. This would open up a spot for someone like Mendes who can come in and compete for the starting berth at left-back.
And now, Chelsea have also entered the fray for the signing of the 18-year-old wonderkid. The Blues splashed the cash on a new left-back last summer, signing Ben Chilwell from Leicester City. The England international has enjoyed an impressive debut season at Stamford Bridge meaning Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri have found game-time hard to come by and are staring at uncertain futures at the club.
And in case either of them is moved on from the club in the summer, Mendes could be seen as a viable target for Chelsea to add more quality and depth to the left-back department. The report adds that both Manchester City and Manchester United have held talks with the 18-year-old’s agent, while Chelsea have also made contact with the representative to explore the possibility of a deal.
However, it is said that, as things stand, Manchester City may be slightly ahead of their rivals in pursuit of the teenager. It now remains to be seen as to who comes out on top in the battle for Mendes’ signing.