Former Dundee United star Ryan Gauld says Tannadice would be his preferred destination if he ever decided to return to Scotland.
The 24-year-old’s Farense contract expires next summer, with the newly-promoted side having an option for another year which triggers a £3.6 million release clause.
Gauld – recently named player of the year in Portugal’s second tier Liga Pro – is enjoying life away from home at the moment and would rather continue his career abroad.
But United still have a place in the midfielder’s heart.
He said: “At the moment I’m only looking at the next year and getting back into the first division.
“I’m hoping that the transfer business will take care of itself next summer when I sit down and discuss my contract.
“I wouldn’t really fancy returning to Scotland anytime soon to be honest as I’m really enjoying my time abroad and ideally I’d like my next move to keep my abroad.
“But if I did return to Scotland, Dundee United would certainly be the number one choice.”
Gauld left the Tangerines for Sporting in a £3 million deal in 2014, just over two years after making his debut for the club.
He was handed his senior bow by Peter Houston in a 2-0 away win at Motherwell, the final game of the 2011/12 season.
The playmaker said: “My debut was very special and, to be honest, it came at a time when I wasn’t expecting it as I had only trained with the first-team for a week.
“I really enjoyed playing alongside Gary [Mackay-Steven], Andy [Robertson], Nadir [Ciftci] and Stuart [Armstrong].
“We were a very attacking team and it was brilliant to play in, we had some good times together.”
One of his toughest moments in a United shirt was the heart-breaking 2014 Scottish Cup Final defeat to St Johnstone, his final game for the Tangerines.
He said: “Everyone was absolutely gutted that we didn’t win the Scottish Cup and I think we were favourites going into the game.
“During that season St Johnstone were a bit of a bogey team for us.
“In the final we were unlucky because we created a lot of chances, such as Ryan Dow hitting the post at 0-0 and Nadir Ciftci has hit the bar.
“I wouldn’t say we could have done any more than we did.”
His old club are back in the Premiership this season after Robbie Neilson – now in the Hearts hot seat – guided them to the Championship in 2019/20.
Micky Mellon’s men sit eighth in the top flight after two wins, a draw and three defeats (to Hibs, Celtic and Kilmarnock) in their first six fixtures.
Gauld added: “It’s been a tough couple of years for United but I watch their games whenever I can.
“It’s great to see them back in the Scottish Premiership as it’s where they belong.”