Manchester United and Liverpool are set to cross swords for the signature of Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho in the summer, according to Daily Mail.
The Reds have earmarked the player to replace Steven Gerrard when he leaves the club for LA Galaxy in the summer. Carvalho has been on the spotlight for a long time now, especially with Arsenal being among the major proponents for his signature.
However, the Gunners have moved on to Morgan Schneiderlin citing exorbitant fees and third party ownership, which would be a major deterrent in completing the deal smoothly.
The midfielder is expected to be available for a fee in the range of £35m ($52m), a sizeable fee for a player with little experience in the international arena and without participating in major leagues across Europe.
Moreover, Liverpool will face competition from United, who are also in talks with the player as Louis van Gaal looks to strengthen his midfield and provide some much needed assistance to his back four.
Carvalho is known for his hard handed brand of football and will act as a screen in the midfield, which is easily bypassed by opposition teams.
United are likely to offer a better deal to the midfielder, as compared to Liverpool. However, much of the decision depends on either club's ability to qualify for the Champions League, which could have a major impact in making the decision for a bid for the Portuguese player.
The Reds are currently two points adrift of United and three behind Arsenal and have been in brilliant form since the turn of the year. Wins over Tottenham, Southampton and Manchester City have put them in the drivers seat for a place in the top four, especially with the side still to play Arsenal and United in the run-in.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils have an intriguing set of fixtures coming up over the next couple of months, including an FA Cup quarter final clash against Arsenal at Old Trafford.