July 22, 2019
Sporting CP manager Marcel Keizer has apparently dropped a hint that Bruno Fernandes could leave the club this month, according to reports. It has been stated by Portuguese newspaper, O Jogo that Keizer has been looking at replacements for the 24-year-old who has been linked to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur throughout the summer.
Despite reports for a number of months stating that things seem to be imminent, United and Spurs are yet to make an offer for the midfielder. Only last week, it was suggested that Fernandes’ agent, Miguel Pinto was in England to receive offers for the player, however, nothing seems to have materialised on those rumours, which suggests something is amiss.
Sporting wants to receive at least €70 million for the player this summer with reports suggesting that both United and Spurs will only offer something in the region of €50 million. The Mirror states that United would be reluctant to spend such a huge fee on a player with little to no UEFA Champions League experience.
United’s pursuit seems to have hit a snag but reports suggesting that the club is seeking to find a replacement for the 24-year-old could finally mean that this saga could be close to an end. The report in O Jogo states that Keizer has admitted that Sporting’s captain wants out of the club this summer. After the 1-0 victory over Inter Milan in Singapore, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke about transfers, saying:
“As I’ve said and answered a few times, we’re working on one or two cases. But obviously my objective now when I’m here is we’ve got to get ready for the games and training sessions.
“And if I’ve got to travel somewhere I will. And you won’t be able to ask me. We’re working on putting a squad together that can compete.
“Of course we have some youngsters but we have loads of players that can play and loads of ways we can play, if there’s a slight change of system is possible.
“Of course we’re always on the lookout for good players. And I’ve been impressed with a few.
“So we do have players that we are watching and following and when we feel they are ready we’ll maybe try to make them come to Manchester United.”
Obviously, Solskjaer mentioned no names and he might not have been talking about Fernandes at all. However, reports in Portugal over the past few weeks did suggest that United would prioritise the signing of a defender before signing Fernandes this summer. Reports gathered pace again on Sunday which suggested an £80 million transfer for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire could at last be happening.
Perhaps, after that signing has been confirmed Solskjaer will make a move for Fernandes, or whoever it was that he was talking about in the ‘one or two cases’ the club had been working on. United have so far signed Daniel James from Swansea City and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace. Both have done well so far in pre-season, adding pace, skill and determination to the squad – things that were missing