Anderson Talisca caught everyone by surprise when revealing the ‘love affair’ between himself and Manchester United.

On holiday in Brazil, the player was speaking to Globo Esporte and probably had no idea of the worldwide coverage his quotes would have.

Or maybe he did.

Anyway, is there really interest from José Mourinho or was Talisca just kicking up a fuss? We’ve dug a little to see all the times the manager was linked to him, and if most of the reports are true the midfielder has never left the Special One’s head.

It all started in 2014. Talisca left Brazilian side Bahia to join Benfica, and had an impressive quick impact in Portugal. In his fourth league game for the Eagles, he scored a hat-trick against Mourinho’s hometown club Vitória de Setúbal, and was much praised by the manager.

At the time, Mourinho claimed Talisca ‘would be in England if he had a work permit’, since ‘many Premier League clubs were scouting him’. The manager, who was working at Chelsea, later confirmed that Talisca was a long term target for the club.

Unsurprisingly, a few months later, Portuguese newspaper A Bola claimed that Mourinho sent scouts to watch Talisca play. The midfielder was already being linked to several English clubs at that stage.

One year later, Mourinho was linked to Talisca one last time when managing Chelsea, this time by the English press. It was the Evening Standard who reported it. But the manager was sacked a month later.

Things were quiet when Mourinho took charge of Manchester United, and Talisca was sent on loan to Besiktas last summer. The player was actually linked to Wolverhampton and Liverpool, but not really to Manchester United. The move to Wolves would be a bridge, mediated by Jorge Mendes, so the player could get a work permit for the Premier League.

Talisca’s move to Besiktas had a bit of controversy, since he wasn’t happy with the treatment he received from Benfica’s board. That’s why the word in Portugal is that he will never play for the Lisbon club again, and should be finally sold soon.

Talisca is still loaned to Besiktas for one more year, and the Turkish club have been claiming they don’t have the €25m to pay for the buying option. Last year, the Portuguese press claimed Benfica were demanding the same price for English clubs, but if Manchester United show up wanting him, and it’s not a set clause, this price could rise.

During the season, Manchester United were said to have scouts at two Champions League matches to watch Talisca. Once when Besiktas played Dinamo Kiev, and another in a game against Lyon. Both reports came from Turkey.

For those who haven’t heard what Talisca said, here’s the dialogue between him and the Globo Esporte presenter:

Talisca, Portuguese manager Mourinho has already said he wants to count on you. By the way, he’s been wanting you since the time at Chelsea, when you were at Benfica. And he says he wants you at United (if he does he says it in private). What do you know about this possible negotiation?

Yeah. It’s a question I can’t answer. Yet.

But this is an old affair, and it exists, right?

Yes. It exists. I won’t lie. It exists. But it doesn’t depend only on me. It depends on Benfica, it depends on my agents who are sorting this situation. But soon you’ll have the news.

Is it a dream to play for Manchester United?

Of course. Every player wants it. I had a good season. And like you said, this love from him is old, I also like his work, he’s a great manager. And I hope everything goes right.

And where will you give the first-hand news?

Here at Globo Esporte!