Sporting Lisbon are working to beat West Ham and Chelsea to the signing of England Under-18 defender Matthew Bondswell in January, Football Insider has learned.
The two Premier League clubs have set their sights on luring Bondswell, 18, from RB Leipzig and back to his homeland in the transfer window next month.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Sporting have also turned their attention to the teenage left-back.
The Portugese big hitters are ready to offer the rising star a fast track to first-team football as they look for a potential replacement for Nuno Mendes, who could leave in January.
Bondswell is regarded by talent spotters as having the athletic and technical ability to thrive at senior level, just like Mendes, who graduated from the Sporting academy to play for their first team.
Bondswell has spent the last two years at Leipzig, after joining the legions of young British players lured to Germany.
He was in the Nottingham Forest youth ranks fo eight years before his transfer in 2018.
Intriguingly, the youngster attracted an offer from Liverpool as well as strong interest from Man United and Southampton but opted for Leipzig.
The teenager joined Dutch second division side FC Dordrecht in August of this year on a season-long loan in order to get regular game time.
He has made seven appearances this season, six of which have come as a starter in league matches.