Bruno Fernandes being linked with Manchester United is nothing new, but things seem very different this month.
In truth, most Premier League clubs of note were reportedly chasing Fernandes last summer and it’s no surprise when you consider he scored 31 goals in 52 games for Sporting Lisbon.
However, it appears as though the situation has changed in the Portuguese capital and now all reports are pointing towards a potential £55 million deal before February arrives.
Portuguese journalist Filipe Dias told Sky Sports that United are ‘really closing in’ on the transfer; Sporting are more likely to accept a deal this month and that Fernandes is keen to move.
Speaking to the Transfer Talk podcast, Dias explained: “We ran the story that there are talks between the two clubs and we figured that a deal might be close in the next few days, or hours even, because Sporting need money badly.
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‘Closing in’ on Fernandes
“The situation has changed since last summer. They didn’t accept a deal with Tottenham for 70m euros but that would have been paid with 40m euros upfront and then another 30m.
“Now Sporting will accept 70m Euros, but paid in instalments. United is a club that Bruno Fernandes really likes in England, it’s a club that he really wants to play for.
“Talks have been intensified in the last couple of days, so we’re kind of expecting that it might be close.”
Solskjaer on scouting duties
And Dias isn’t alone in his inkling, because the Daily Mail similarly reported that Fernandes’ agent was flying out to London to join talks between Ed Woodward and the Sporting chiefs.
It’s claimed that injuries to Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba have intensified United’s interest, whereas he was less of a priority in the summer when Sporting were ramping up their price.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and assistant Mike Phelan watched Fernandes, who has scored 12 goals this season, during Sporting’s defeat to FC Porto at the weekend.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
It’s a big risk, there’s no doubt about it.
Sure, United have a pretty good record with signing Sporting players – Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo, cough cough – but there’s no guarantee that Fernandes’ goals will travel with him.
Even though I’m certain he won’t be the second coming of Bebe, you can just never be sure when it comes to goal-scorers moving from leagues outside of Europe’s top five.
However, I’ve got to applaud the fact United are clearly sticking behind Solskjaer’s supposed long-term project.
I’d put up a strong argument that signing Edinson Cavani on a free would be more beneficial, but obviously the club aren’t after a short-term fix here.
We’re talking about somebody who is prolific at 25 years old, could still hit his peak in England and could play deeper as not to impede upon Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.
Whether they complete the move or not, it proves they very much have Solskjaer in mind.