Manchester United and Chelsea look set to go head to head in a summer bidding war for Porto’s Alex Sandro.
The 23-year-old left-back’s contract extends to 2016, but with both Moyes and Mourinho planning summers of squad reshuffling, the pair are weighing up alternative options to heavily sought after Luke Shaw.
The Brazilian international joined Porto from Santos in 2011 and has gone on to win two league titles during his time in Portugal as well as amassing six international caps during his ascension through the Porto ranks.
Despite his contract depicting a £40 million release clause, the Mirror believe that the cash strapped Portuguese side may be swayed by offers in the region of £15 million, and with Southampton starlet Shaw priced at double that, Mourinho might just see the Porto star as that more cost effective choice.
Cesar Azpilicueta has deputised over Ashely Cole for the majority of the current campaign, but with Chelsea’s defence being one of the main target areas for summer reshuffling, Sandro has emerged as a strong candidate to relieve the right-back of his left-back duties.
Moyes on the other hand, is believed to be keen on the Porto star as a replacement for Patrice Evra, after the Frenchman’s agent hinted that a summer move to Serie A may be on the cards.
Dutchman Alexander Buttner is the current deputy to Evra’s position, but his failure to impress when given the chance makes the left-back position an urgent requirement at Old Trafford given Fabio da Silva’s demise since his loan to QPR.
Although Evra’s form across the last year has been decent, the Frenchman has regularly left his team exposed at the back.
Sandro boasts a defensive capability, extreme pace and cross technique that would be more than an adequate skill set to supersede Patrice Evra albeit he departs, as well as an ability to pull off accurate crosses from the byline and the instinct to make up for mistakes quickly.
While Azpilicueta currently plays out of position, Mourinho does have other left-backs, including Ashley Cole, at his disposal, while the departure of Patrice Evra at United would leave Moyes relatively deprived of an adequate player to slot in as substitute.
In terms of want versus need, United do look the more desperate, not to mention adequately fitting club for the services on offer.
Chelsea and Mourinho may use the lure of Champions League football, but Sandro is arguably more suited to the current Champions; his gung-ho style of play is befitting for a team that traditionally attacks down the flanks.
Moyes would be wise, if favouring a cheaper alternative to Shaw, to make this one a top target come May.