Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing young Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes in the January transfer window.
The Red Devils head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to bring in several players in January and the Portuguese had been linked as one of his targets. With young midfielder Scott McTominay out for three or four weeks due to his knee injury, the United coach needs to reinforce his midfield.
The 20-year-old Portugal international has not played in any of Benfica’s last seven games after reportedly fallen out of favour with manager Bruno Lage.
And according to Sky Sports, Fernades’ representatives have reportedly been in the UK attempting to broker a loan deal in the January transfer window with a £34m option to buy with interested parties.
It is understood that Benfica have conceded they will not get Fernandes’ release clause of £102m met by any club for an out-of-favor player. The club, however, is keen to get rid of Fernandes who grew through the ranks at the club in January.
Solskjaer has said the club will only make signings if the right player to fit the long-term strategy of the club becomes available. The Manchester club have aslo been linked to Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Lyon striker Moussa Dembele.
It remains to be seen whether Solskjaer can see a place for Fernandes in his squad, with the Norwegian adamant he will only sign players if the need arises.
In a related development, United are keeping tabs on Birmingham’s 16-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham. The youngster made his Football League debut in August and scored the winner in his first home appearance for Birmingham, against Stoke City.
According to The Sun, United’s assistant manager Mike Phelan watched the starlet in action against West Brom earlier this month and has scouted him again as United keep a close eye in his development.
However, Championship club Birmingham are in no mood to sell and are desperate to keep hold of their prized asset. Bellingham’s inspiring form in the second tier has led to a call up to England’s U17s side, while Bayern Munich are also believed to be keeping tabs on his development.