Manchester United and Liverpool are both trailing Sporting Lisbon wonderkid Nuno Mendes, but have suffered a major blow in their pursuits.
Mendes, 18, has been catching the eye with some impressive performances for the Portuguese side.
The left-sided player has featured 13 times across all competitions for Lisbon this season, starting in nine of their ten league matches.
His performances have seen him attract interest from around Europe, with reports suggesting Liverpool have already seen a bid of £19million rejected.
They were apparently told a bid of £40m would have been accepted, but now they face paying even more.
Sporting have now tied Mendes down to a new long-term contract in a bid to fend off any interested teams.
His new contract, which runs until 2025, apparently includes a new release clause set at £63m.
It will also apparently have a clause inserted meaning his basic salary will gradually increase year after year.
While Liverpool are believed to be the only team to have made a concrete bid so far, they’re not the only team interested. United are also keen, despite only having signed left-back Alex Telles three months ago.
The Red Devils are believed to be eager to continue strengthening their options throughout the team, and exhibited their desire to concentrate on youth in the final days of the summer transfer window.
Speaking after his contract extension was announced, Mendes spoke of his joy at extending his stay with the Portuguese outfit.
"I am very happy. It is a unique feeling to be able to renew with Sporting CP,” he said. “I am always available to help the Club, which is what I intend to do.
"I am a hardworking player, who gives everything for the team. That is what you can always expect from me because I will do my best for this Club."
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