FutballNews understands that Sporting’s asking price increased to £68m (€80m) after United want to sign the midfielder for £34m fee upfront, while another £25.5m would be tied up in performance-based add-ons. However, no further discussions are planned for this weekend between the two clubs.
United feel their latest bid reflects Fernandes’ form – as the midfielder has 13 goals in 21 games all competitions for Sporting. It is likely that negotiations will resume next week, with United keen to sign Fernandes having identified him as their primary target in the January transfer window.
Fernandes played in Sporting’s 2-0 defeat to Benfica on Friday, after which head coach Silas admitted he did not know if that was to be the midfielder’s last game for the club.
“I hope not,” Silas responded, via Record, when asked if Fernandes would be leaving for Manchester United this month. “So far we don’t know, nor does Bruno know.
“We will try to keep him for more games, but it’s not up to us. The only wish I have is the best for him. I would prefer that he not leave. We have to understand the ambition of the player, who prefers to play in a league superior to ours. There has been talk of the Premier League, but who wouldn’t like to play there?
“Bruno deserves everything and to try a league like this, if he’s one of the best, he deserves to be there.”
Recall that United had agreed to pay the Portuguese around £130,000-a-week if he finally completes his move to Old Trafford. Also, United are willing to offer Sporting £50million plus £10m in add-ons to sign Fernandes in the January window. The Red Devils are now waiting for the Portuguese club to agree to their offer, with Jorge Mendes set to present a proposal to Sporting on Thursday.
Portuguese outlet Record reports that the midfielder will travel to England after Sporting’s derby against Benfica on Friday evening and will be in the stands to watch United face fierce rivals, Liverpool, on Sunday afternoon. The paper added that in order to sign Fernandes, no United players will be included in the deal.
According to the report, it is very unlikely that he will still be a Sporting player by the time they take on Braga in the cup next week. Fernandes began his professional career at Novara in Italy before spells at Udinese and Sampdoria. The midfielder then joined Sporting in 2017 and is now likely to call time on his three-year spell at Sporting in favour of a move to United.
He had told Sporting that he wants to move to United this month. Fernandes has already scored 12 goals this campaign on the back of notching 27 last season. The midfielder, who regarded as one of the best talents in the Portuguese league, has gone on to make a total of 81 league appearances and scoring 39 goals for Sporting.
The goalscoring midfielder became United’s primary target this month following recent results and injuries to key players such as Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba. Fernandes was an option for them in the summer but not considered a priority coupled with Sporting’s high valuation.