Let’s make one thing clear to start – when talking about a Sporting trolley dash, this shouldn’t be confused with a five-minute sprint up and down the aisles of JD Sports picking up a Man Utd shirt with Wayne Rooney’s name on the back and a pair of Nike Mercurial football boots preferred by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Instead, it relates to Portuguese Premeira Liga title pursuers Sporting Lisbon and their trio of class acts that are bound to cause manager Leonardo Jardim sleepless nights this summer, as his phone rings incessantly enquiring about their availability.
Prominent on many shopping lists is William Carvalho, with Manchester City and Barcelona among the numerous European big spenders with their internet banking details at the ready.
Carvalho has already scooped the Premeira Liga player of the month accolade on four occasions this season and is a hotter property in Portugal than a holiday home in the Algarve with no air conditioning.
Although the 22-year-old has a tendency to play it safe with his passing, he has all of the attributes one could want from a defensive midfielder.
He is strong in the challenge, reads the game well, is composed and shows the necessary level of aggression to put his team on the front foot.
Carvalho may cost somewhere in the region of £35m, but this could well prove money well spent.
Should Man Utd win the Champions League, which can be backed at 28/1, this would be a big advantage in their corner of this particular battle.
Also making waves at Sporting this season have been Carlos Mane and Marcos Rojo.
Man Utd are no strangers to interest in tricky young Portuguese wingers and Mane is the latest to be cable-tied with the tag of being the next Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, 24-year-old Argentine defender Rojo could prove the long-term successor to Patrice Evra, although his versatility is such that he may also be viewed as a potential replacement to out-going Nemanja Vidic at centre half.