Replacement for Valencia – Manchester United preparing £17.5m bid for 25-year-old

According to Turkish Football, Manchester United are interested in Sporting CP defender Cristiano Piccini. The Sun say United are preparing a £17.5m to procure his signature but have West Ham United and Besiktas for competition. The 25-year-old could be a replacement for Antonio Valencia in the future and is reportedly keen to move on from the Estádio José Alvalade due to the club’s recent demise off the pitch.

United signed FC Porto right-back Diogo Dalot this summer to be a long-term replacement for 33-year-old Valencia, but it’s unlikely the 19-year-old will be a regular this coming season or the one after. As a result, United could benefit from a player who could make an instant impact and Piccini could fit the bill. The Italian u21 international has made over 200 appearances for a number of clubs and may adapt easily to English football due to his nomadic career so far.

The 25-year-old has played for Fiorentina, Carrarese, Spezia, Livorno, Real Betis and Sporting most recently. He has five years remaining on his contract with the Portuguese Primeira Liga side he joined last summer but has no intention of staying after the club were victims of violence from a gang weeks after president Bruno De Carvalho threatened to suspend 19 players after having an argument with the squad.

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