Manchester United are reportedly set to battle it out with rivals Liverpool and Newcastle United in the race to sign FC Porto winger Otavio.
According to Portuguese publication A Bola, FC Porto winger Otavio is attracting strong interest from the Premier League, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle United vying to sign him in the summer.
Born in Brazil, Otavio spent the early parts of his career at Santa Cruz and Internacional before moving to Europe in 2014 when he signed for Porto. The wide midfielder had a loan stint with Vitoria Guimaraes between 2015 and 2016, post which he has been a regular in the lineup for Porto, enjoying plenty of success with the Dragoes.
Otavio has made over 220 appearances for Porto and has won two Portuguese league titles and several other domestic honours. He is enjoying a fairly productive 2021/22 campaign, managing a return of five goals and 12 assists from 40 matches in all competitions. Otavio’s reliable performances have seen him gather admirers from England, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle vying to sign him.
Liverpool had been linked with a move for Otavio last year, but a move did not materialise. Instead, they ended up signing Luis Diaz from Porto in January. However, they have now rekindled their interest in the 27-year-old amid growing concerns surrounding the future of Mohamed Salah.
The 29-year-old is yet to agree a new contract with Liverpool and is being linked with an exit in the summer. If a new deal is not signed, there is a good chance that the Reds might decide to cash in on Salah, which would leave a gaping hole in attack. They are identifying several options to replace him in such a scenario, with Moussa Diaby among the targets, along with Otavio.
As for Manchester United, they will need to bolster their attacking options in the summer as Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata look set to depart with their contracts expiring. In addition, Marcus Rashford’s future has become a hot topic of debate, with the Manchester United academy graduate believed to be unhappy over his lack of game-time at Old Trafford.
With Anthony Martial also expected to leave permanently and the likes of Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri not impressing on their respective loan spells, a new, dynamic, wide player like Otavio could become a handy signing for Manchester United.
Newcastle United, meanwhile, will embark on a huge mission to add more quality to their squad in the summer. And one of the major concerns that Eddie Howe must address is the team’s overreliance on Allan Saint-Maximin in the final third. Furthermore, with Miguel Almiron expected to leave, someone like Otavio would add depth to the roster while boosting the overall quality.
Otavio’s contract with FC Porto runs until 2025 and comes with a release clause worth €60 million. However, the Portuguese giants might be willing to negotiate a lower fee for the 27-year-old. Whether any of Liverpool, Manchester United or Newcastle act on their interest in the wide midfielder remains to be seen.