Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes has reportedly garnered interest from Leicester City, prompting the Premier League side to make enquiries regarding his contractual status with the Portuguese giants.
Mendes rose through Sporting’s academy to break into the senior side last season after football returned to Portugal in June. Since his debut, the 18-year-old has rapidly established himself as a fixture of the side, often deployed as the left wing-back in the club’s favoured 3-4-2-1 system.
Despite his lack of experience, Mendes has already turned the heads of a number of Premier League outfits. Both Liverpool and Arsenal have been linked with the teenager who can also count Manchester United among his ever-growing list of suitors.
Leicester are another name which can be added to the roster according to the Lisbon-based outlet Correio da Manha (CM). Brendan Rodgers’ side have supposedly approached Sporting in an attempt to ascertain the details of the full-back’s contractual situation.
Having made his debut with the senior side aged 17 in June, Mendes signed a five-year contract on his 18th birthday later that month, the day after his maiden start for the first team. CM report that his current buyout clause stands at €45m but Sporting are keen to increase the figure even further to €70m. However, this would see Mendes’ wages rise and the club are yet to begin negotiations.
Leicester spent more than £20m bringing Timothy Castagne to the King Power Stadium from Atalanta in the summer as an option at full-back on either flank. However, alongside the long-term absentee Ricardo Pereira, Castagne has also been sidelined in the early stages of the season.
19-year-old academy graduate Luke Thomas started the club’s last two Premier League matches before November’s international break but, especially following the sale of Ben Chilwell last summer, is one of a limited number of left-footed defensive players available to Leicester.