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Arsenal, Manchester United 'to battle for Porto defender'

Arsenal, Man United 'to battle for Porto defender'
© Reuters
Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly giving consideration to making an approach for Porto defender Wendell.

Porto defender Wendell has reportedly emerged as a potential transfer target for Arsenal and Manchester United.

Although the full-back is now 30 years of age, it has only been recently when he has received the biggest recognition for his performances.

The left-sided player has made a total of 26 appearances for Porto this campaign, chipping in with four goals and two assists.

While his efforts in the final third are relatively modest for a full-back, his sound defensive attributes recently led to a call-up to the Brazil squad.

Wendell subsequently made his first two outings for the five-time world champions against England and Spain, playing his part in a 1-0 win and 3-3 draw.

Porto's Wendell celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on March 3, 2024© Reuters

Arsenal, Man United showing interest

According to Fichajes, Wendell's recent rise to prominence has led to Arsenal and Man United identifying him as a potential addition.

Mikel Arteta has just had first-hand experience of Wendell's ability courtesy of the recent Champions League last-16 tie between their respective sides.

Wendell was part of a Porto defence that only conceded one goal across 210 minutes of football, with the Portuguese giants only being eliminated on penalties.

Porto also boast the best defensive record in Portuguese football, conceding just 19 goals from their 27 league games this campaign.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds fans after the match on February 24, 2024© Reuters

Do Arsenal, Man United require a new left-back?

Despite having sufficient options at their disposal, Arteta and Erik ten Hag - providing that he stays at Old Trafford - seem likely to add to their squad at left-back in the summer.

Arteta will hope to have Jurrien Timber back to full fitness at some stage, while the versatile Jakub Kiwior is currently ahead of Oleksandr Zinchenko in the pecking order.

Nevertheless, Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney - out on loan at Real Sociedad - may be sold at the end of the season, depending what offers the Gunners receive.

Meanwhile, United have struggled for a regular left-back all season courtesy of several injury issues for Luke Shaw, as well as Tyrell Malacia missing the entire campaign with a knee problem.

A decision may be taken to allow Malacia to leave, either temporary or permanently, and a player possessing Wendell's qualities could help United at both ends of the pitch.

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