KEY POINTS

  • Pedro Goncalves is set to renew his contract his Sporting CP
  • Sporting has made Goncalves its most expensive player at present
  • Manchester United was the favorite to sign the Portuguese attacker

Manchester United is on the brink of missing out on one of its most notable prospects.

Pedro Goncalves’ case of potentially becoming one of Manchester United’s signings this summer is nearing dead end as Sporting CP has decided to keep the prolific forward.

The reigning Primeira Liga champions have set a €80 million ($94 million) termination clause for Goncalves, which will take effect when he formally signs his contract extension on July 21, Portuguese outlet A Bola reported Wednesday.

International Business Times could not independently verify this information.

The said fresh set of terms also includes a “salary revision,” which basically allows Goncalves to haggle for a pay rise, the report noted.

What’s even more interesting is that the 23-year-old’s new and improved release clause will make him the player who has the biggest termination clause at Sporting at present and second in the club’s history.

His compatriot Bruno Fernandes still holds the title who used to have a €100 million ($118 million) exit clause before leaving for Manchester United in 2019, the report added.

Prior to prolonging his stay at Sporting, Goncalves was heavily linked to Manchester United.

A previous report said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side was Goncalves’ lone suitor earlier this year, and the club sees him as a suitable long-term replacement for attacking midfielder Paul Pogba, whose future at Old Trafford has always been uncertain.

However, even at the time, Goncalves is believed to be eager to stay and succeed at Sporting, particularly the Liga Nos title.

Goncalves’ agent Jorge Pires backed the said claim and insisted that his client has been “very happy” with Sporting and vice versa. 

Hence, the idea of parting ways with each other was never considered.

“There is no interest on our part in this transfer market, nor is Sporting interested in losing the player,” Pires said of Goncalves’ situation in January.

"Therefore, any business is out of the question,” he pointed out. “We are not concerned with this market. In fact, it doesn't even count for us. He is very happy to play for Sporting and for what he has done. He is living a dream."

Goncalves is one of the most celebrated players in Europe today. He was the top performer in the Portuguese top flight this past season, having registered a staggering 23 goals in 32 league matches.

Naturally a midfielder, Goncalves also plays well as a striker. His exceptional form has earned him comparisons to Fernandes, and some in Portugal are even convinced that he is the “Next Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to Italy from Portugal as Serie A prepares for team training to resume Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to Italy from Portugal as Serie A prepares for team training to resume Photo: AFP / Marco Bertorello