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Teenager Nuno Mendes linked with Chelsea, others after breakout season for Sporting CP

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Making a name for himself at 18

SL Benfica v Sporting CP - Liga NOS Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Sporting CP put an end to a 19-year title drought in Portugal this season, thanks in no small part to head coach Rúben Amorim’s trust in young players, including from the club’s famed academy. Amongst those is Nuno Mendes, an 18-year-old left wing-back who burst onto the scene this season, playing nearly every minute on the left flank while also collecting his first three caps for Portugal. Did I mention he won’t turn 19 until later this summer?

Such performances have obviously piqued the interest of the big European teams, including Chelsea. Portuguese newspaper Record list the Blues alongside Manchester United and Manchester City as interested parties, though it’s the latter who are supposedly leading this race.

It’s still early on of course, with no formal offers made, while Sporting are expected to not do any business below the player’s €70m buyout clause.

Still, Chelsea could be in need of a new left wing-back, especially if are successful in jettisoning Marcos Alonso and Emerson this summer, and Nuno could very well be a proper backup (and competitor) to Ben Chilwell in the long run.