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Nuno Mendes has reacted to the rumours he could be set for a big-money move to the Premier League.
The 18-year-old left-back was given his Sporting first-team debut last June and has since established himself as one of the most promising youngsters in Portugal, making 35 appearances this season and helping his boyhood club win the Premeira Liga title.
Recent reports suggested Manchester United had stolen a march on their Premier League rivals after opening discussions with Mendes’ representatives, with Bruno Fernandes actively encouraging Old Trafford bosses to pursue a bid for his fellow countryman.
In an interview with Portuguese outlet Record this week, Mendes was keen to distance himself from speculation of an impending move away from Sporting.
“I’m focused on Sporting,” he said.
“I want to keep my feet on the ground. I’m not an elite player yet; I’m working to get there.”
Mendes has an eye-watering £61million release clause in his contract at Sporting but the Portuguese champions value him at closer to £52m and may be prepared to accept a cut-price fee given their financial difficulties.