Manchester United have reportedly reopened negotiations with Sporting Lisbon to sign Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes before the end of January.
United and Sporting were miles apart in their valuation of the midfielder during the week but Record in Portugal now claim United have returned to the negotiating table to thrash out a deal. The report add that both clubs are now in direct contact, rather than using third parties.
United co-chairman Joel Glazer had called off the deal after the Red Devils refused to meet the Portuguese club’s £68million asking price. According to him, Sporting’s demands for Fernandes are ‘outrageous and unreasonable’ adding that the midfielder is worth what the club chiefs are demanding.
The Premier League club had launched a £55m deal for the Portugal midfielder earlier this week but the Sporting insisted on a fee higher than that. Also United had planned to pay £42.5m up-front for the midfielder, with a further £8.5m in performance-based add-ons.
However, the Portuguese giants were unhappy with the structuring of the deal, thereby making negotiations between the two clubs hit an impasse. The club wanted more of the fee in advance, believing that the 25-year-old midfielder would be unlikely to meet the clauses in the deal
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.
The 25-year-old had told Sporting that he wants to move to United this month. The midfielder, who is 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. He has scored 15 goals and provided 14 assists in 27 appearances for Sporting this season across all competitions.
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.
Fernandes’ agent Jorge Mendes on Wednesday said that he ‘doesn’t know’ if his client will leave the Portuguese giants this month, adding that he is not convinced it would get done during the winter window.
He said: “I don’t know. If he doesn’t leave now, he will leave for sure in the summer because Sporting have already spoken to other clubs.
“Something will happen but I am not sure if now or at the end of the season.”