Manchester United had been tracking Alex Telles for six years and stepped up their interest in 2018 before securing a permanent transfer.
United agreed a deal with Porto worth an initial £13.6m plus add-ons for the Brazilian left-back, who looks set to offer stiff competition to Luke Shaw at left-back. After undergoing a medical at Carrington on Sunday evening, Telles was officially announced as a United player on deadline day, Monday.
MEN Sport understands Telles first cropped up on United’s radar in 2014 when playing at Galatasaray and was extensively watched over the past two years by numerous members of the club’s scouting team, including their Portuguese scout and chief scout. United have long regarded him as the best left-back in Portugal by a distance and believe he is the ideal profile to come into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team squad.
United shelved plans to recruit a left-back midway through last season following Brandon Williams’ emergence, following the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan.
However, Telles is viewed as a more natural alternative to Shaw and, with the club allowing Diogo Dalot to join AC Milan on loan, was a natural addition. United rebuffed a loan enquiry from Southampton for Williams on deadline day and are expected to keep the 20-year-old as full-back cover on both sides.
Telles said: “To join a club with the prestige of Manchester United is a huge honour. You have to work hard to get to this moment in your career and now I am coming to this club, I can promise that I will give everything in my heart to be a success here.
I won many trophies at FC Porto and I want to continue that at United. The manager has a clear plan and direction for this team and I can’t wait to pull on the famous shirt.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “First and foremost, I welcome Alex to United. He is a player we have been tracking for some time and his performances over the past few years are exactly what we are looking for. He is a fighter and a winner and will add real determination and competition to the squad.
“Alex has the qualities, both as a player and as a person, that we want here at Manchester United.”