Manchester United target Matheus Nunes: All you need to know

Frenkie de Jong is not the only midfielder being linked with a move to Manchester United. An alternative being touted for a move is Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes.

Portuguese newspaper Correio do Manha claims United are considering making a move for Nunes, while there is also said to be interest from City.

United fans have learned to be sceptical of links from Portugal over the years, dating back to Ezequiel Garay and Nicolas Gaitan. But subsequent moves for Victor Lindelof, Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles have shown the club’s willingness to target the Primeira Liga.

Even this transfer window, United have been linked to Portuguese based players Darwin Nunez, David Carmo, and Goncalo Inacio. So here’s the lowdown on Matheus Nunes…

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‘Manchester United target Matheus Nunes’

Here are six key facts about reported Manchester United target Matheus Nunes…

1) Nunes, 23, plays for Portuguese side Sporting, after joining for just £400,000 in 2019 from Estoril.

2) Nunes has gone onto play 99 first team games for Sporting, with 50 coming in the 2021/22 season. He won the title in 2020/21.

3) He is a box to box central midfielder, who scored four goals this past season and provided five assists.

4) He is under contract with Sporting until 2026, and has a release clause of £51 million.

5) Nunes has seven international caps for Portugal, and one goal, netting in their World Cup play-off semi-final win over Turkey. He had also been eligible to play for Brazil.

6) Nunes provided an assist in the Champions League last season against Erik ten Hag’s Ajax.

What they say…

Nunes’ former teammate at Estoril told The Echo last year: “It’s unbelievable when he has the ball at his feet. Nobody can catch him; it’s impossible because he’s too fast.

“If you are in the defensive phase and he gets the ball, he can run with it and fire the team 30 yards up the pitch because he is so good in possession.”

He is rated highly by none other than Pep Guardiola, who was quoted by One Football after City faced Sporting: “Matheus Nunes is one of the best players in the world today. Nunes is one of the best at the moment.”

Sporting’s former under-23 boss  Alexandre Santos told Noticias ao Minuto: “He is a young player, but he already has a great sense of positioning and what he has to do on the pitch.”

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Nunes’ top attributes

Nunes ranks in the top one percentile of players in Europe’s top leagues in his position, averaging 0.35 assists per 90, FBRef report.

He ranks in the top two per cent for ‘through balls’, and top 13 per cent for ‘passes under pressure’.

Nunes also ranks inside the top 25 per cent for ‘successful pressures made’ and ‘tackles won’, showing his ability off the ball.

WhoScored list his top two attributes as dribbling and passing, with no weaknesses to his game.

What else you need to know…

Correio do Manha‘s report claims that despite his release clause of £51 million, Manchester United could attempt to get a deal done for £10 million less.

Over the past 12 months Nunes has been linked to Wolves, Newcastle, and Everton, O Jogo report.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images
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