Manchester United hot on the heels of Bruno Fernandes but speculation is more rife than actual developments in this saga

Manchester United hot on the heels of Bruno Fernandes but speculation is more rife than actual developments in this saga

Bruno Fernandes and Manchester United are two names that have been linked my a lot of speculation since last summer. During the summer transfer window, the Portuguese midfielder was heavily linked to United, Tottenham Hotspur and a host of other clubs, although he remained a Sporting CP player for the current season. It has been reported by multiple outlets over the past four days or so that United are interested in the player this month.

On Friday, it was reported that Sporting president Frederico Varandas had travelled to London, more specifically to United’s offices in London to discuss the transfer of the 25-year-old. Of the higher profile news outlets in Portugal, TVI24, Record, A Bola, O Jogo, Mais Futebol, Observador, Tribuna Expresso, Jornal de Notícias and Diário de Notícias had things to say about the possible transfer of Fernandes this month. The speculation seems to have come out of nowhere and turned into something big.

A source from Sporting confirmed that Varandas had been abroad and that it had been for ‘business reasons’. A second source then guaranteed that talks were ‘advanced’ with discussions being held over the terms of the deal. It was stated that there were two players on the table which could be part of the deal, which may complicate things. Marcos Rojo was said to be one of the players involved, the other is still unknown. It was said at the time that the transfer could be agreed in the ‘next few days’.

On Saturday evening, Sporting beat Vitoria Setubal 3-1 with Fernandes scoring a brace in the game, pushing him up to 15 goals so far this season. The 25-year-old was named the Man of the Match at the end of the game and it was reported in Portugal that United had a scout in the stands – the previous week it was said to be both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mike Phelan who were watching Fernandes, although that has not actually been confirmed by Solskjaer, Phelan or United.

It was suggested on Sunday that United were just a short step from concluding a deal with the €70 million fee talked about in the summer mentioned again by A Bola. They even spoke about adding players with different agents could complicate the deal, as it clearly will and if the players do not opt to move to Sporting, the deal would suffer more problems. Correio da Manhã sensationalised the story by making it seem close to completion that it actually was.

Today (Tuesday 14 January 2020), reports are still suggesting the a deal is still happening with the suggestion that Fernandes is ‘on the way’ to United in A Bola. Andreas Pereira has been mentioned in the report as a possible player to head to the club on loan. It also talks about Rojo, who is on high wages at United and therefore an issue. Joel Pereira was also included but Sporting do not need him and Angel Gomes, who is classed as inexperienced confirmed that there was a choice players.

A Bola state that a €70 million fee has been agreed for Fernandes, €60 million for the player and €10 million in bonuses. They suggest this was agreed in only a few hours on Friday when Varandas was in London. It is also stated that “the lions are slowing down the conclusion of the deal as they continue to examine the various possibilities placed on the table by the English for possible loans.” Which is causing a delay meaning the deal may not be as close as has been reported.

Sporting face Benfica on Friday evening and there is a belief that the Portuguese club may want him to face their rivals in this match, although if he got injured, the deal would be off causing more discontent amongst the United supporters who cannot seem to let things happen in due course without moaning about it and commenting on United’s tweets with the words; ‘announce Bruno’ like they were in the summer. This is the frustrating part of transfers.

Jorge Mendes has been brought into the fold, as he was in the summer, despite nothing actually happening. However, the super agent has been sorting out Gedson Fernandes to Tottenham Hotspur, meaning he has not had time to sort this one out, despite not actually being the agent of Bruno Fernandes. It is said that perhaps he could help sort out the transfer from tomorrow, meaning Fernandes to United is unlikely to be completed in time for the player to face Liverpool.

O Jogo has reported the possible loan options being Joel Pereira, who was rejected, Gomes, who is being considered and Rojo, who was rejected because of the large costs involved in the deal, mainly the player’s wages. It was also said that Sporting had ‘hope’ that the deal could be completed this week although ‘everything will be done’ for him to face Benfica on Friday, which is a big risk. Sky Sports have suggested that United and Sporting are still apart in the valuation of the player, though.

They did report on Monday that Fernandes did want to join Solskjaer’s United, which was a positive piece of news. The Sun have reported that it is expected that the player would sign a five-year contract at the Old Trafford club and that it would see him earning £100,000 a week at the club. They also talk about Fernandes signing a new contract at Sporting just six weeks ago but still state that he was likely to leave the Portuguese club, which would need to happen if their news was actually true.

The Mirror suggest that Fernandes could be on £150,000 per week at the club but United were still in negotiations aiming to lower the price for the player, which would be believable from the Glazer’s and Ed Woodward. They suggest he will get a four-and-a-half year contract. Fernandes has played 2,204 minutes of football this season, scoring 15 goals and racking up 13 assists in all competitions. Adding that kind of creativity to United’s squad is necessary for them to fight for a top four place this season.

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