According to reports in Portugal, Manchester United are looking to make a double swoop of FC Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa and defender David Carmo in the upcoming transfer window.
The Portuguese goalkeeper has been linked with a potential move to Old Trafford with Ten Hag looking to replace De Gea in the future. United suffered a 6-3 drubbing in the Manchester derby last month and displayed the need to improve the goalkeeping department.
With regard to Carmo, the Red Devils have always retained a long-standing interest in the Portuguese centre-back since his Braga days. He was linked as a possible alternative to Jurrien Timber from Ajax last summer but United eventually signed Lisandro Martinez instead.
Manchester United want to bolster their defensive options in the upcoming transfer window and as such, David Carmo and Diogo Costa have been shortlisted as potential targets. The Red Devils are seemingly interested in signing the Porto duo and sent scouts to watch them during the Porto-Braga clash in October, as reporetd by A Bola (via Sport Witness).
Manchester United sent a representative to watch FC Porto vs SC Braga on Friday evening. [A Bola] @Sport_Witness: “There is no mention of who United were there to scout but we believe it will have been Porto duo Diogo Costa and David Carmo.” #MUFC
— mufcmpb (@mufcMPB) October 1, 2022
Player Profile – Diogo Costa
Since his debut in 2019, Diogo Costa has featured in 87 games for Porto, while keeping 36 clean sheets (stats via Transfermarkt). The 23-year-old has also made 8 appearances for the Portugal national side, the most recent one being on Thursday in the FIFA World Cup 2022 against Ghana, which the team won 3-2.
Erik ten Hag requires a ball-playing keeper who can make saves in one-one situations, which both De Gea and Dean Henderson are unable to provide. The Dutchman wants to bring in a goalkeeper who is comfortable with the ball at his feet and isn’t afraid to start the game from the back.
The Porto shot-stopper is comfortable in possession and could help Ten Hag switch back to his Ajax formations and tactics. De Gea’s poor ball control has forced the Dutch manager to go for a different tactic and not play out from the back.
Player Profile – David Carmo
David Carmo is a 23-year-old defender who boasts the physicality of someone playing at the highest level of the sport. A left-footed centre-back known for his ball-progression traits alongside playing defensive splitting passes into the attacking phase similar to Van Dijk.
He possesses an unique vision alongside good dribbling qualities to get him out of tight situations and pick out his teammates in attacking spaces. Carmo is likely to suit a United team requiring their centre-backs to remain technically composed and secure in possession under Ten Hag.
The Porto defender has incredible aerial ability and towers over most Primeira Liga strikers. The centre-back has been lauded for his consistency in winning aerial challenges on the pitch which helps his team retain possession further up the pitch during attacking phase.
Pace and agility are not his strengths due to his bulky physicality and dealing with quick and pacy forwards in Premier League will be a challenge. He has been compared to Pepe with his regular mistiming of tackles and his tendency to defend aggressively makes him vulnerable to going out of position in certain parts of the games. In Premier League, every positional error will be punished immediately.
However, under Erik Ten Hag, who is said to be a tactical mastermind, the Portuguese youngster should be able to develop into a promising defender, with time on his side. Carmo is likely to fulfill expectations at a big club over the coming years.
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United have had great success with players from the Portuguese league such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Luis Nani. And given that the Porto duo are only 23, they have the potential and time to develop into world-class players.
The Red Devils need a long-term replacement for David de Gea, who turned 32 this month. On the other hand, the Lisandro Martinez-Raphael Varane pair have stabilised the side’s defence, but Ten Hag would want to bring in a back-up defender to replace Harry Maguire, who will be leaving at the end of this season.
Although Manchester United wants to sign both Diogo Costa and David Carmo, it will be pretty difficult and expensive to convince Porto in letting their stars leave. Carmo moved to Porto from Braga this summer, while Costa recently signed a contract extension till 2027.
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