Sporting Lisbon coach Paulo Bento is wanted by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as his new No2.

The Sun says the 39-year-old is one of the best young Portuguese coaches.

And he comes highly recommended by countryman Carlos Queiroz, who quit as United No 2 last week to become national team coach.

Bento has guided Lisbon to runners-up spot in the league three campaigns in a row and has won them three cups.

Bento, who played 35 times for Portugal, will raise his profile at United - even with Sporting being in the Champions League.

He has leapt ahead of fellow candidates Pako Ayesteran and Laurent Blanc.