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United in Carvalho transfer talks

ESPN staff
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William Carvalho is valued at £29 million by Sporting Lisbon © Getty Images
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Manchester United have reportedly opened negotiations with Sporting Lisbon to sign defensive midfielder William Carvalho.

Manager David Moyes will get a significant sum to spend on players in the summer, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward revealing last month the club are "focused on strengthening the squad" following their struggles this season.

They are also keen to do their key business early to avoid the mistakes made last summer when Marouane Fellaini joined in the last few hours of the transfer window and was the only senior signing.

The looming World Cup is another complicating factor for a squad overhaul but a stumbling block to a swift deal for Carvalho could come over the fee, with the Daily Mail claiming United's £25 million valuation is £4m short of Sporting's.

Moyes is likely to want to strengthen United defensively in the summer with club captain Nemanja Vidic going to Inter Milan and Rio Ferdinand set to leave.

He wants Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to take the places of the experienced departees but stiffening up the midfield in front of them would undoubtedly help.

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