The Manchester giants both had a scouting presence as Sporting won on the road against Toledo in Portugal’s Primeira Liga on Monday, the Record newspaper reports.
It’s perfectly normal and a very regular occurrence for Manchester City and Manchester United to have scouts watching the Portuguese giants Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting, particularly as the region has proven to be a hotbed for young talent for many years.
The name that would come to mind from a City perspective would be Rafael Leao, the 18-year-old Sporting wonderkid City are said to be seriously interested in, with even some reports of a bid having already been made.
However, Leao wasn’t on show and has not yet made his full breakthrough to Sporting’s first team, and the teenager watched from the stands as his side picked up a 2-1 away win over Toledo.
So who might City, and United for that matter, have been watching, along with the likes of Borussia Dortmund, West Ham, Montpellier and Nice?
Two players previously linked with City, who are probably soon to get their moves to a major European league, are William Carvalho (represented by CFG ally Pere Guardiola) and Gelson Martins, and the pair both played the full 90 minutes.
Midfielder Bruno Fernandes is having an excellent season and the 23-year-old Portugal international might have been another under observation.
City have had mixed luck recruiting from Portugal, with Eliaquim Mangala proving to be a disastrous buy, Fernando underwhelming if solid at times, Javi Garcia not making a big impact, but the most recent acquisition from the country, Ederson, looking to be an inspired signing.