De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links
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Porto president Pinto da Costa has revealed that a bid from an unnamed club has been rejected for Vitinha, who is said to be a target for Manchester United and Arsenal. The 22-year-old played a hugely important role for Porto as they cruised to the Primeira Liga title last season and has since been linked with a summer move elsewhere as a result of his impressive form in the middle of the park.
Vitinha is said to be on United’s list of midfield targets, while Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in bringing him to the Emirates Stadium before the start of next season. Porto have already turned down at least one concrete bid for their prized asset, though, with Da Costa having warned that a move will only come about if his release clause is met.
“There was a concrete offer of considerable value by Vitinha that we did not accept, and we refer to the termination clause,” the Porto president told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s the only way to take the player. Fans can rest easy. The bid was high but below the clause. If they come with a euro below the clause, he doesn’t leave.”
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Vitinha, who remains tied down to Porto until the summer of 2024, is believed to have a release clause of around £35million written into his current deal with the newly-crowned Portuguese champions. It remains to be seen whether United or Arsenal will be willing to meet the required fee in order to bring Vitinha to the Premier League or if they will decide to pursue their other targets over the coming weeks and months.
United are said to have prioritised the addition of a new central midfielder as Erik ten Hag looks to rebuild his playing squad at Old Trafford in advance of the upcoming season. The Red Devils are reportedly in talks with Barcelona over a move for Frenkie de Jong but have been tipped to firm up their interest in Vitinha if they fail to reach an agreement with the Catalan giants this summer.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are also expected to chase a new signing in midfield before the first ball is kicked at the start of the new campaign. They recently confirmed the arrival of Brazilian forward Marquinhos from Sao Paulo but are thought to be keen on making a number of additional moves in the market before the transfer window slams shut on the first day of September.
The Gunners have previously been linked with Brighton and Hove Albion playmaker Yves Bissouma, who is now in advanced talks over a move to north London rivals Tottenham for a reported fee of around £25m. Youri Tielemans is another name to have cropped up in connection with Arsenal but there appears to have been a lack of concrete progress in talks with the Foxes, leading to the emergence of Vitinha as a potential alternative.
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