Ferguson, taking the advice of his assistant Carlos Queiroz, has identified Veloso as the next potential star to emerge from the Sporting youth ranks that also produced Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, says the Guardian.
Veloso, who has broken into the Portuguese national side at 21, has been the outstanding player in La Liga this season and it is a measure of United's interest that Ferguson's brother Martin, the club's chief scout, has been a virtual ever-present recently at the Estadio Jose Alvalade XI. United have been represented at six of Veloso's last seven matches.
Ferguson has been slowly modifying his line-up to a 4-2-3-1 system and he has received glowing reports about Veloso's ability to break up opposition attacks. One scouting report from last season details how Veloso outshone Patrick Vieira when Sporting beat Internazionale in the Champions League.