Man United have reportedly begun talks with Sporting Lisbon to strike a shock swap deal that could see highly-rated left-back Nuno Mendes join United with Alex Telles returning to Portugal.
According to Record, United could use Telles as bait to lure one of Europe's best young left-backs in Mendes.
United hope to bring in the Portuguese international on a long term deal that sees Telles joining his former rivals in Sporting.
As one of the most sought after youngsters in the world, it's not a surprise Mendes has admirers - one being countryman Bruno Fernandes who is reportedly pushing for United to sign the left-back.
Like any transfer, not everything runs smoothly, United face stiff competition from their nearest rivals Manchester City as the Sky blue side plan to bring in the 18-year old to aid their current left-back issues.
With Mendes's release clause set at £59million, United may need to act fast as competitors City's have shown in recent times to not hesitate in spending huge sums in the recruitment of defenders - splashing almost half a billion on defenders in the last four years.
Having arrived from FC Porto last summer, Telles has seen his game time heavily reduced due to Luke Shaw's re-emergence this season. Telles's excellent form in Portugal before joining the Red Devils could tempt Sporting to execute a swap deal that could soften Mendes's high release clause.
The 18-year old left-back has had a sensational breakthrough season with his Sporting side having been involved in 24 games this campaign - starting 20.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's interest in Portuguese players has seen the club also scout Mendes's teammate in Pedro Goncalves.
The 22-year-old right-winger has been firing in the Liga NOS this season, with 20 goal contributions in 27 games. Sporting's combined release clause on the pair totals a fee of £109 million.
Currently, top of the Liga NOS and unbeaten, Sporting CP's impeccable form rewarded Nuno Mendes with his first Portugal cap, having been called up by Fernando Santos for March's World Cup qualifiers. He started in two games for his country last month against Serbia and Azerbaijan.
United's transfer history with Portuguese clubs has been successful in recent years - the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernandes, Anderson, Nani, Victor Lindelof and Telles have been among a long list of exports that have swapped the Liga NOS for the Premier League.
Should United choose to execute a deal for the 18-year old Portugal international they are most certainly attaining a potential world-class left-back for the near future.