Manchester United have been tracking the Sporting Lisbon star all summer but are yet to make a respectable offer.
The talented 24-year-old has been identified as Ander Herrera’s replacement while Paul Pogba’s uncertain future has only increased Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s need for a midfielder.
But according to Sky Sports, a deal for Fernandes remains unlikely unless they get rid of some of the deadwood.
Two big sales from Romelu Lukaku and Pogba would help raise funds to splash the cash on Fernandes.
Inter Milan are yet to meet United’s price tag of over £80m while Real Madrid and Juventus have been told to fork out £150m for Pogba.
Should Harry Maguire arrive from Leicester the club will likely have to ship out a central defender with Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo said to be at risk.
The Argentine is proving a problem to offload though with clubs unwilling to match his hefty wages.
United need to act quickly though if they are to free up some space in the squad and sign Fernandes with the August 8 deadline fast approaching.
READ MORE: Man Utd make enquiry over £27m star
Meanwhile, Sporting manager Marcel Keizer knows he faces a battle on his hands to keep hold of Fernandes after he netted in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool earlier this week.
“I can say about Bruno that he’s a very good player and he’s important for us,” he said.
“Of course everybody would like him to stay but we don’t know the situation at the moment. He is here but we don’t know what the future will bring, so we will have to wait.
“We know that clubs like him, so we have to see what’s going to happen.”
Liverpool have also been linked with Fernandes but Jurgen Klopp insists they won’t be making a move.
“Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United? He’s obviously a really good player,” said Klopp.
“They have already a few really good players so that would make them stronger and that’s not nice.
“It’s not our cup of tea to be honest.”