Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd set for transfer battle to sign £40.8m starlet Nuno Mendes

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are three Premier League clubs interested in signing Sporting Lisbon youngster Nuno Mendes, according to reports. Mendes, 18, has already made 11 appearances in the Sporting first team. The left-back scored his first professional goal in the Liga NOS win at Portimonense earlier this month.

United have only just signed a left-back from the Portuguese league, bringing in Alex Telles from Porto for an initial £13.6million.

Liverpool have also strengthened on the left side of defence, recruiting Greek international Kostas Tsimikas for just under £12m to provide backup to Andy Robertson.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have several options in that position, namely Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka.

But it appears the three English giants are all attracted to teenage talent Mendes.

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Italian outlet CalcioMercato claim they will provide competition to AC Milan for Mendes’ signature.

Sporting are aware of the interest Mendes is attracting and are not willing to accept an offer lower than his release clause, currently set at £40.8m (€45m).

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Mendes’ contract at Sporting runs until 2025.

Meanwhile, ‘Project Big Picture’ has received large amounts of criticism since the idea was proposed over the weekend.

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The plans, pushed by Liverpool and United, would see the Premier League reduced to 18 teams, among other changes, as well as giving more power to the so-called ‘Big Six’ in England’s top flight.

But Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway is massively against the proposal.

Holloway told talkSPORT: “I have never been so disgusted in my whole life.

“If we can’t get Simon Jordan in there to tell the people what to do, I’m relying on Oliver Dowden [the culture secretary] right now to carry through the threats. He needs to look at it.

“It cannot be right or the way forward.

“Basically, they’ve got a gun to all our heads and are trying to take over football and make sure they will get richer. That’s not what football’s about.

“They’re only Division One of what should have been four divisions. Lets not forget that. Who do they think they are? Because it’s such a wonderful, fantastic game and the TV people make it such a fantastic performance live in front of you that you couldn’t write the scripts to.

“The money is there but it just needs to be taken from the top. The way you do that is through taxes and the government then gives it to the rest. You can’t ask them how much we should have.

“It’s embarrassing. I’ve never seen anything quite like it in my life. It’s horrendous. 

“It’s a time when everyone is struggling the most. They’ve come up with this. How are they the top six when Manchester United are 16th?”

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