Bruno Fernandes is poised to sign for Manchester United before the January transfer window closes on Friday.
The Red Devils have finally agreed to match Sporting Lisbon’s asking price following weeks of negations.
United are set to pay €55 million plus a further €10 million in ‘realistic’ add-ons. An additional €15 million made up of more unlikely add-ons - such as winning the Ballon d’Or - has also been offered by the Premier League giants as part of the deal.
Fernandes is set to fly to Manchester on Wednesday, with his medical pencilled in for Thursday.
All going well, Fernandes could be in the Man Utd squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Wolves.
- Bruno Fernandes set to sign for Man Utd
- When Ronaldinho first told Kobe Bryant about Messi
- Video tribute to 'Midfield Maestro' Jesse Lingard
If you don’t know much about Fernandes yet, then you’ve come to the right place.
Tom Kundert - @PortuGoal1 - is one of the most knowledgeable Portuguese football experts on Twitter and he’s posted a detailed thread all about the 25-year-old midfielder.
“Bruno Fernandes is an exceptional footballer. Will he do well at Manchester United? A thread.”
“Fernandes first started making waves after he had taken the unusual & courageous step to move to the Italian lower leagues from Boavista at just 17 years of age. It was up and up as he impressed successively for Novara, Udinese and Sampdoria.”
“He moved to Sporting from Sampdoria in the summer of 2017 for €8.5 million. He was an immediate and stunning success, scoring 16 goals in 56 games, earning a place in Portugal’s WC squad.”
“It appeared a big ask to improve on a spectacular debut season. But he did. The following campaign he scored an astonishing 33 goals - from midfield! And he only started taking penalties halfway through the season when Bas Dost got injured. Oh, and he provided 17 assists.”
“It should not be forgotten this was achieved at a club in absolute crisis after half the team had walked out of their contracts following the infamous attack by Sporting ultras at the Alcochete training complex.”
“Fernandes has been so good since he came to Portugal it has been a struggle at times to find new ways of describing his brilliance.”
“In 25 years watching Sporting live every other week Bruno Fernandes is undoubtedly the best player I’ve seen in the green & white. Yes, SCP had Figo & Ronaldo, but they weren’t the players at Alvalade they'd become. Fernandes is the finished article. Ripe for a bigger challenge.”
“So why were there an apparent lack of suitors? That’s a fair question. Some big-money transfers from Portugal in recent years have proved poor business for the buyer: Renato Sanches, Eliaquim Mangala, Adrien Silva, João Mário, perhaps João Félix... cold feet?”
“Also, from Sporting's standpoint, no way they could sell on the cheap. João Félix was sold from Sporting's bitter cross-town rivals Benfica for €126m in the summer. €50m would be a record transfer for SCP, but compared to the Félix sale, that price would've looked awful.”
“And yes, he does lose the ball frequently - a consequence of the way he plays. An intelligent coach will compensate for turnovers while maximising his ability to provide goals & assists galore. But for sure, a fast-transitions team is a better fit than a possession-based side.”
“For those worrying he can't replicate his offensive threat (wonderfully creative passing, expert freekick taker, venomous shooting from open play) in England, in Fernandes Man United are also getting a tireless worker with an exemplary attitude who's not afraid to get stuck in.”
“But don't take my word for it. @TiagoEstv is a brilliant Portuguese football analyst and scouting consultant. Here is his assessment.”
“I am convinced that barring injury Fernandes will be a massive hit. Good luck Bruno. Thanks for the memories. End of thread.”
The vast majority of that makes for very encouraging reading for United supporters.
It’s clear that Fernandes has been a massive success at Sporting - Kundert rates him as the best player he’s seen at the Portuguese club in the last 25 years, ahead of both Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo(!) - scoring goals and registering assists for fun.
He sounds exactly like the type of midfielder United need right now - a creative passer, expert free-kick taker, hard-worker and so on - and has been backed to be a big hit at Old Trafford.
Let’s just hope, for the sake of the club’s long-suffering fans, that United don’t mess the deal up from this point.News Now - Sport News