SPORT: Manchester United Sign Alex Telles From Porto For £15.4M

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The 27-year-old is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s second signing of the window, following Donny van de Beek’s move from Ajax

Alex Telles has signed for Manchester United
Image:Alex Telles has signed for Manchester United

Manchester United have completed the Deadline Day signing of Porto left-back Alex Telles for a fee of £15.4m.

The 27-year-old has signed a contract until June 2024, with the option of a further year.

United’s hopes of signing the left-back appeared to be fading after their offer was initially rejected by the Portuguese champions, who were holding out for £22.5m.

However, negotiations began again on Sunday morning, with Porto changing their minds on United’s most recent bid as they were convinced that no subsequent offer was likely from Old Trafford, with the transfer window about to close for Premier League clubs.

“To join a club with the prestige of Manchester United is a huge honour,” said Telles. “You have to work hard to get to this moment in your career and now I am coming to this club, I can promise that I will give everything in my heart to be a success here.

“I won many trophies at FC Porto and I want to continue that at United. The manager has a clear plan and direction for this team and I can’t wait to pull on the famous shirt.”

Telles signed for Porto from Galatasaray in 2016 and went on to win two Portuguese league titles and the Portuguese Cup in nearly 200 appearances for the club.

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Alex Telles
Image:Alex Telles signed for Porto from Galatasaray in 2016

He becomes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s second signing of the window, following Donny van de Beek’s move from Ajax.

Solskjaer said: “He is a player we have been tracking for some time and his performances over the past few years are exactly what we are looking for.

“He is a fighter and a winner and will add real determination and competition to the squad.

“Alex has the qualities, both as a player and as a person, that we want here at Manchester United.”

Telles will fly to Sao Paulo to join the Brazil national team ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru.

Analysis: Telles the ‘typical Brazilian’

“It doesn’t take long watching Telles in action to see his main quality strikes a similar chime to that of many Brazilian full-backs, with his productivity on the ball a major asset to Porto in recent years, registering some 54 assists across his five years at the club.

“While United’s main defensive problems may lie in the heart of their defence, there is certainly a strong case to be made about how the Brazilian can improve their backline.

Alex Telles' attacking attributes have proven his greatest strength for Porto
Image:Alex Telles’ attacking attributes have proven his greatest strength for Porto

“While Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams, the club’s two regular left-backs in 2019/20, failed to register a single assist between them across the campaign, Telles was busy making eight goals for his Porto team-mates in the Primeira Liga, which may come as little surprise from a man who attempted almost 10 crosses per 90 minutes on average, and completed around a quarter.

“Much may be said about his goal tally, too, as he found the back of the net 11 times last season, but with eight of those coming from the spot, fellow Portugal import Bruno Fernandes may have a thing or two to say about that at Old Trafford.

“He is very Brazilian in his approach,” Vitor Goncalves of Portuguese national broadcaster RTP told Sky Sports. “His passing is very good – that’s one thing that makes him different, even from other Brazilian left-backs.

“In isolation, Telles’ passing stats don’t make remarkable reading, the fact he created 57 chances, the seventh-highest tally across the entire division, certainly does.

Alex Telles
Image:Telles holds the record for the highest number of assists made by any player at the Estadio do Dragao since it opened in 2003

“But just as Brazilian full-backs are known for their attacking prowess, so too has their defensive quality been called into action at times.

“He’s not so good defensively,” Goncalves adds. “But he’s still a defender over a winger! He’s a top Porto player, and the vice-captain behind Danilo Pereira.

“If Manchester United are looking for a defender to shore up a backline which has already shipped 12 goals in its opening three games – a third of their tally for the whole of 2019/20 – Telles may not be the answer.

“But with much of their problem during that season an inability to break teams down who played with a low block, he will add some quality from wide areas and a goal threat from the back which the club has undoubtedly been lacking.”

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