Man Utd transfer target likened to Virgil van Dijk as £36m release clause emerges

Manchester United transfer target David Carmo has been likened to Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk ahead of a potential move to Old Trafford. Carmo, 21, has emerged as a target for United to improve their defence. The centre-back came through the academy at Braga and has made 23 league appearances for the Portuguese side.

United have had trouble at the back this season, including suffering a 6-1 loss to Tottenham at Old Trafford in September.

Captain Harry Maguire has received plenty of criticism, as has his regular partner Victor Lindelof.

Eric Bailly has had a string of injury problems and Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones were both left out of the club’s Champions League squad.

So it appears Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to strengthen that area of the pitch.

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But The Athletic say United will face competition for Carmo’s signature.

The report says Carmo has been compared to Liverpool star Van Dijk due to his physique and ability with the ball at his feet.

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Carmo stands at six-foot five inches tall, slightly bigger than Van Dijk.

Serie A side Roma are reported to have come close to signing Carmo in the summer window and had a bid of around £15million turned down for the defender.

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Carmo had a release clause of roughly £18m in his contract at the time but The Athletic say that has since risen to £36m after he signed a new deal with Braga last week.

Carmo, who has been capped by the Portugal Under-20 side, now has a contract which runs until 2025.

United’s interest in Carmo goes against what OSolskjaer said earlier this season.

In September, Solskjaer claimed United had enough defenders and did not need to sign any more.

“For me, we’ve got enough good centre-backs here at the moment,” Solskjaer said.

“When you concede chances and concede goals, there are two different things you can look at – it’s either the team shape, or are there any individual mistakes.

“We’re not in our best shape of form, our shape isn’t there, we’re not sharp enough to stop crosses or follow the runs.

“We’re a little bit behind, that’s more structural mistakes than individual mistakes.”

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