That’s according to journalist Duncan Castles, who claims Sporting are prepared to sell their most valuable asset for the right price in order to raise cash.
Fernandes emerged as one of the most talented midfielders in European football last term, bagging an incredible 31 goals in 50 appearances for the Portuguese outfit.
And that impressive return has seemingly caught Manchester United’s eye, with reports suggesting they are preparing to launch a bid for the 24-year-old.
Castles – who has revealed that Fernandes’ agent and brother-in-law Miguel Pinho informed Sporting that United will make an offer this week – also reports that the Portugal international is of interest to clubs in France, while insisting Sporting have increased their asking price because of Pinho’s comments.
“Sporting are saying that they will not sell the player for less than €60m [£54m]”
“Sporting have retained their pricing on the player. In fact, they’ve slightly increased it I think, given this news from the brother-in-law, and they are saying that they will not sell the player for less than €60m [£54m],” he said on The Transfer Window podcast.
“The flaw of course is that Miguel Pinho has been telling Sporting that an offer would be coming in from major clubs for several months now, so I think there’s a degree of scepticism at the Portuguese club that this offer will come.
“But they are ready to sell if the money is right and remain hopeful that they will be able to cash in on the player.
“As we’ve told you before, Fernandes is the figure in their squad that they identified as a player they wanted to sell this summer to raise cash, their most valuable player given the goals he scored last season, and they are ready to deal at the right price.
“I’m also told from the Sporting end that there is some interest from French clubs.
“Again, whether that transpires into a bid or not remains to be seen.”
United have already spent £68m in the summer window; they first wrapped up a £18m deal for Welsh winger Daniel James, before signing right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace for £50m.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are also chasing Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire, who it’s understood could cost them a whopping £80m – which would make him the most expensive defender in football history.
However, Solskjaer insists the Red Devils are taking their time to ensure they don’t overpay for their summer transfer targets.
“We have been linked with so many players,” he said.
“I’m sure you don’t believe every single player that we’ve been linked with. But I think that Manchester United sometimes have, because of the wealth, maybe we have had to pay more, a bigger premium to get players in, and that’s just the world we live in.
“And we’ve taken our time, we’re not going to overpay, but we have to get the right people in, the right players.”
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