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Bruno Fernandes saga still running. Suggestions of ‘goodbye’ and player suggesting transfer ‘edging closer’. Very Sneijder-esque!

The Bruno Fernandes saga is becoming a bore-fest this summer. For months now, the 24-year-old has been linked to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Liverpool and Manchester City were once said to be interested, the latter briefing journalists that their interest was not quite as big as was suggested. Claims have been made, none of them materialising.

On Sunday, Fernandes played what could have been his final match for the club – a friendly against Valencia. Despite no speculation coming from this in Portugal, the English media made a big deal of the supposed tears after the game, maybe being a farewell. On Tuesday, the Portuguese media once again started to speculate, something that has never come to fruition in the months before.

A Bola carried a headline on their front page suggesting that ‘it smells like farewell’ with a further headline inside stating ‘the hour of goodbye’. The article, however, suggested that any possible departure would not be imminent. Maybe the Portuguese media are now trying to sell a dead horse? They have certainly flogged this one to a point where interest is dwindling. Perhaps no clubs are interested in the player anymore?

Again, it is stated that Fernandes’ agent, Miguel Pinho is ‘likely’ to put forward this apparent offer from Manchester United ‘in the coming hours’, which has reportedly been coming for months now. However, nothing has actually developed in that part of the story, so this might just be repetition of that rumour from months ago. Perhaps Fernandes will end up playing in a United side in a different dimension like Wesley Sneijder, Nico Gaitan, and Medhi Benatia – and many others over the decades.

When a term such as ‘in the coming hours’ is mentioned, personally, it makes me think that this is nothing but guess work, not something anyone has any knowledge of. This seems to have been a play in the Portuguese media with now actual ending other than the player either being sold to a much smaller team that he has been linked to, or signing a new long-term contract at Sporting CP.

There is a claim in the media that Fernandes has told his ‘close friends’ about the possibility of a transfer which is ‘edging closer’. It would need to be close as if it were United that was the club he was going to transfer to, he has less than ten days for it to happen. However, it is also stated that Sporting want Fernandes for a friendly on Sunday which will be played at the Estádio Algarve against Benfica.

It is still suggested that Sporting wants to receive €70 million for the 24-year-old, something they are not likely to get from United or Spurs, who may have been written out of the stories recently but may still be in the running for the player – especially if Christian Eriksen leaves the club this summer. It all seems a bit unbelievable to be honest. This entire saga suggests that the media have become obsessed with these rumours where in real life, nothing could be happening.

However, if clubs are waiting until closer to the transfer deadline next Thursday to make an offer, in the hope of getting a bargain, they may find out that time has run too close and might be quoted a massive fee to conduct business so late in the transfer window. With United still needing to strengthen certain positions in the team, not to add the speculation surrounding Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba, which may need more business to be completed in time for the season to start in just under a fortnight’s time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still needs a central defender, at least one central midfielder, and a right-winger. If Pogba and Lukaku both end up leaving, whether it is before the deadline for Premier League clubs to buy, or later in the window, the club will need to think ahead and get everything done for their replacements or they will head into the season with a severely weakened squad, rather than strengthening the squad, which is what is needed this summer.

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