What is the latest with reported United target Luis Gomes?

After Manchester United completed a deal to sign Amad Diallo this week, it is a good time to check in on another player linked with a move to Old Trafford, Luis Gomes.

A reminder: The Mirror reported in October: “Although the youngster is now on a five-year deal at Sporting, United have agreed a first-refusal option should they decide to sell – complete with a £14million transfer fee.”

This stood out at the time as an odd way for United to do business, as we have not done any deals in this way beforehand.

Sure enough, a denial came via Portuguese newspaper Record that a first-option agreement has been struck.

Since then it has gone quiet surrounding the 16-year-old, who is yet to make his Sporting debut.

Gomes is a young winger, who has been compared to Luis Figo, The Mirror reported.

He actually signed a new five-year contract just prior to the United rumours breaking, so Sporting are under no pressure to sell. His last social media post came just after extending his contract.

Brexit rules now complicate future transfer

United could have missed the boat on landing Gomes early. Brexit transfer rules now mean non-UK players under-18 cannot be signed.

The club were well aware of this before the reports of a first-option agreement broke.

Having missed the October 5 transfer deadline, a first-option deal may have been an attempted way around this, to keep United in the hunt despite being unable to bring him in right away.

The rules on signing players early and loaning them back are a little more unclear. But this again, is not something United like to do. The club prefer young players to come in and join the academy teams overseen by Nicky Butt and learn from within.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Gomes will turn 18 in April 2023, so it won’t be until the summer transfer window of that year that he will be eligible for transfer.

By this time his progression will be clearer, and a £14 million price might look like a bargain, if United’s first-option clause even exists.

If not, then by 2023 comes around, he could be a lot more expensive, considering Benfica earned more than £100 million for 19-year-old Joao Felix a year ago.

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