Jose Mourinho identifies 19-year-old starlet as Man Utd defensive solution

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Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho has reportedly set his sights on unknown Turkish defender Merih Demiral, currently on loan at Sporting Lisbon.

The 19-year-old is owned by Alcanense and despite only making a handful of appearances at youth level, he is seemingly attracting interest from Europe.

According to O Jogo, the centre-half’s progress is being monitored by Mourinho after he made an impression in the Fenerbahce youth team and has since made the move to Portugal to further his career after bemoaning the lack of opportunities with the Turkish giants.

The report goes on to note a story from his Fener days though in which he stayed behind in training with former United star Nani and worked on his defensive abilities with the Portuguese winger.

Although the youngster is surely relatively unknown in England, it seems as though he’s attracted interest from the Red Devils who are on the look out for a long-term solution in central defence.

Summer signing Eric Bailly will evidently have a major role to play at Old Trafford moving forward, but with the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo interchanging next to him, Mourinho has been linked with other top defenders to fill the gap on a more permanent basis.

Time will tell if Demiral has the opportunity to nail down the position moving forward, but given his inexperience and rawness, it will surely take a lot more before Mourinho is entirely convinced and will be willing to prise him away to move to Manchester.

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