A Bola scouting Sporting August 21stThe life of scouts, club officials, or espiões (spies, as the Portuguese press often call them) can be a lonely one. Sitting in the stands, keeping your notes secret, and trying to spot the next talent before your colleagues is a solitary and competitive thing.

However, Manchester United and Arsenal may have a couple of Portuguese brothers in arms, because their officials keep going on the same transfer window-shopping missions.

Earlier this month, Manchester United and Arsenal both had espiões at the match between Rio Ave and FC Porto. That was then followed by both clubs having someone at the match between Porto and AS Roma last week.

A Bola scouts Benfica August 22ndFollowing the same path, both Manchester United and Arsenal had someone watch Sporting beat Pacos Fereirra on Saturday, according to the official list published by A Bola.

The same newspaper also reports today that the two clubs yesterday had someone watch Benfica draw with Setubal. Both lists of scouts can be seen in the screenshots displayed.

It’s unusual for such regular scouting to be done so early in the season, with things tending to pick up as the year goes on. Perhaps both clubs are looking for last minute shopping opportunities.