João Mário
João Mário is reportedly a transfer target for Manchester UnitedGetty Images

Manchester United are reportedly chasing Sporting Lisbon midfielder João Mário. The 23-year-old Portugal international is being eyed by the Old Trafford club as a cure to their creative woes.

The Red Devils have reportedly sent scouts to watch the player in recent months, with the club said to be preparing a big-money bid. United apparently had Mário watched during a recent match against Porto, with a view to a summer move for his services.

Mário signed a new deal with Sporting last summer, committing himself to the club until 2020. However, according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, they are willing to listen to offers for the player.

Initially, Sporting were open to the idea of selling Mário for around half of his €60m (£68.8m) buyout clause. But his recent upturn in form means the Portuguese club are now holding out for significantly more than that from United.

Mário has already made eight appearances for the Portuguese national team, and his transfer value could rise if he makes an impression during this summer's Euro 2016 tournament in France.

Meanwhile, United have also been strongly linked with a big-money move for Mário's international teammate Renato Sanches, the 18-year-old midfielder who is among the most sought-after young players in the world. Sanches, who plays for Benfica, is likely to be selected in the Portugal squad for the Euros.

It is thought United are keen to sign midfielders as Michael Carrick is out of contract this summer, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay have both struggled since arriving in the Premier League.