Manchester United fans found themselves tuning into Friday night’s Portuguese clash between Sporting and Benfica in order to run the rule over Bruno Fernandes.
It was reported before kick-off, by Sky Sports, that United were close to reaching an agreement with Sporting over a deal which could be worth up to £60 million.
They added that Friday’s derby in Lisbon would be his final appearance and that United will pay £43 million upfront, with the additional £17 million made up of potential add-ons.
‘Bruno Fernandes’ and ‘Bruno Watch’ were both trending high on Twitter on Friday evening as United supporters waited to see if the Portugal international would show any signs that this really was his final game for Sporting.
But following a 2-0 defeat, in which Fernandes was probably the best of a bad bunch on the Sporting team, the midfielder looked dejected by the result - but there were no tears or anything else to indicate he was saying goodbye to the Sporting fans.
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According to BBC 5 Live’s Darren Fletcher, who is also BT Sport’s lead commentator, reports that United are on the verge of signing Fernandes are extremely wide of the mark.
Fletcher has provided an update which suggests that Man Utd might actually be on the verge of missing out on the highly-rated midfielder.
“The big story at the moment is Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United,” he said. “The information, as I have it, is vastly different to what’s being reported at the moment.
“It’s being reported that they’re close to a £60m transfer, personal terms agreed, £120,000-a-week and the situation is that he’s likely to be at Anfield to watch the Liverpool game.
“But what I’m hearing is that is so off the mark. Tottenham made a £45million bid for Fernandes in the summer, Sporting rejected it and Spurs walked away.
“I understand United have bid more than that, £50-55m, because of how well he’s performed this season and they’re away that £40-45m was rejected.
“I’m led to believe though, that Sporting want €80m for Fernandes, which is €20-25m above United’s valuation.
“As it stands, he’s going to be training with Sporting Lisbon on Monday and not in Manchester. And unless he buys his own ticket, there’s a cat in hell’s chance that he won’t be at Liverpool.”
Oh dear. It sounds like many people may have jumped the gun.
“So I think this whole Bruno Fernandes to United is in severe doubt, unless Sporting drastically reduce their asking price,” Fletcher added.
“When you look at his track record, €80m is way overpriced for him. And I think this deal is a long way off.
“It’s looking unlikely at the moment. There’s an element of leeway but 55-80 is a hell of a lot of leeway.
“So unless Sporting change their stance on his valuation, this is a non-starter.
“The reports seem to have jumped the gun, because I’m told there’s a lot of work to do on this deal before it’s anywhere near being competed.
“Personal terms, they’re not at that stage, the player and the club has not had any conversation about what the wages would be because they’re so far apart on his valuation.”
Meanwhile, The Sun are reporting that Fernandes’ move to Old Trafford has stalled because of unrealistic bonus payments organised as part of the deal by United.
Among the bonus payments include United winning the Premier League and the Champions League.
Another, reportedly laid down by Ed Woodward, is a payment if Fernandes wins the Ballon d’Or.
As things stand, it sounds like Fernandes’ move to United is in real danger of collapsing.News Now - Sport News