Manchester United will have to battle to secure the signature of Vitinha, following news of competition from Arsenal for the Porto playmaker.
That is according to reports from The Sun, citing Mikel Arteta’s desire to strengthen his midfield.
Portuguese outlet Record suggests that there are now three Premier League clubs attempting to sign the midfielder.
The identity of the third club is unknown but they could be responsible for the “considerable” bid rejected by Porto president Pinto da Costa yesterday, who insists he will only sell if the €40 million (£34m) release clause is met.
Reputable Sic TV news reporter Pedro Sepulveda tweeted today that United was not the Premier League club that made the bid.
❗️@ManUtd didn’t make any official bid for Vitinha from @FCPorto . The club that is mentioned by Pinto da Costa is another. #ManUnited already know that if they want to buy Vitinha they’ll have to look at the release clause – 40 million euros. 🐉 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/QigVvt7KN9
— Pedro Sepúlveda (@pedromsepulveda) June 16, 2022
Vitinha previously spent time in England on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers. That spell did not go as he may have hoped, having made only five Premier League starts during the 2020-2021 campaign, although he would not be alone in having found it difficult to adapt to a new culture during the pandemic-ravaged season.
Vitinha has since become a key player in Portugal, having made 30 Primeira Liga appearances last term.
Such rapid development may have had many in Wolverhampton regretting their decision not to take up the £17.2m option to buy they once held. His release clause now stands at £34m.
Paired with energetic midfielder Matheus Uribe in a 4-4-2, Vitinha brings the guile and creativity to Sergio Conceicao’s midfield, and as mentioned in our previous report, this would lead one to assume that the playmaker is seen as a potential alternative to Frenkie de Jong, should United fail to meet Barcelona’s demands for the Dutchman.
Statistically, Vitinha bears some clear similarities to the former Ajax man, having shown his ability to beat a press with an impressive 72.7% dribble success rate in Liga NOS – the highest of any player to have attempted 50 or more in the competition.
Only Benfica metronome Julian Weigl has completed more passes-per-game than Vitinha when compared to all central midfielders in the competition, which only goes to highlight his desire to take responsibility for his team in possession.
In Arsenal’s case, a midfielder with such technical quality would be seen as an upgrade on Granit Xhaka, who has caught the attention of Bayer Leverkusen.
Wherever Vitinha ends up, he already has a taste for the English style.
“The food has been great here too,” he said while at Wolves. “I thought it would be worse.”