Man United have to beat Real Madrid in race for £45m Porto star

Real Madrid have begun talks to sign Eder Militao ahead of Manchester United, according to reports in Spain.

The 20-year-old joined Porto in a €4 million (£3.5m) deal from Sao Paulo last summer but has made an swift impact in Portugal and has impressed United scouts.

Jose Mourinho was also understood to be a keen admirer of Militao’s performances and before his surprise sacking in December he had targeted a move for the Brazilian as an alternative if United were unable to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.

But according to Goal, Real Madrid are now in the driving seat for Militao’s signature as they have opened talks with the centre-back’s agent to complete a deal.

Militao has a €50m (£45m) release clause in his contract with Porto and Madrid want to secure the move before he signs a new deal with the Portuguese champions which will raise that figure.

Madrid are not desperate for Militao to join in January but want a concrete agreement in place for the player to join in the summer. Mourinho, meanwhile, could link up with Militao in the summer if Madrid opt to appoint him as manager for a second time.