The race to sign Bruno Fernandes has seen one club rule themselves out; can Manchester United seal the deal?

Manchester United has been linked to Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes a few times in the past season. Manchester City has also been linked to the player with speculation suggesting that the Premier League leaders had struck a deal with the Portuguese club for the talented midfielder.

However, reports coming out earlier on Thursday has suggested that City are not interested in Fernandes. This has prompted more speculation linking United with the Portuguese midfielder once again, which seems like the natural course of action as a club will need to be linked with the player, especially if he is to leave the club this coming summer.

Portuguese newspaper, A Bola, as reported by Sport Witness, does not seem to have given up on linking Fernandes with United ahead of the summer transfer window, which is expected to be busy for the club, what with the amount of deadwood needed to be cleared. Whether that happens or not, we shall soon start to see.

“He averages 3.1 key passes and 3.5 shots. Thus, he is a threat both with his passing and his shooting. His four goals from outside the box and three from free kicks highlight his shooting ability. His tally of 15 assists highlights his creativity.

“By comparison, no United player has scored more than one goal from outside the box and the club has scored three free kicks all season. The 28 goals he’s scored this season demonstrate how dangerous he is in and around the box. Except for Paul Pogba, United sorely lack a goalscoring midfielder.

“With the Frenchman’s future uncertain, adding another goalscorer to the midfield ranks is critical for Solskjær. There are, however, some other qualities that the midfielder has and United lack.”

This extract has been taken from Total Football Analysis’ article entitled; Bruno Fernandes: A perfect fit for Solskjaer’s Manchester United, written by David Selini

The report in A Bola had stated that City’s offer for the player would be matched by United, but that was before Simon Stone of the BBC reported that based on the information that he has been passed, City were not even interested in the player. Whether they were before this information is not yet known but perhaps they had been put off by something, maybe wage demands, agents fees or maybe this was just speculation in the first place?

It was once alleged that City met Sporting’s director, Hugo Viana to formulate the conditions of the prospective deal and reports in the UK suggested that €55 million deal has been struck. However, A Bola did state that a deal would be a lot less than that fee, which has been confirmed by Sport Witness.

United obviously need to rebuild but they also need to ensure that they bring in the right players that fit the system and also fit in with what the manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, wants. United need to get it right this summer as it has been wrong for six years now and signing players based on City being interested in them; Fred and Alexis Sanchez, has not worked in the slightest. Getting the better of City, for these two deals, has ensured United were the ones being laughed at, not City.

This video seems to have been a premature celebration of the player signing for Manchester City, however, it shows some of Bruno Fernandes’ abilities on and off the ball.

United has obviously been scouting Sporting, they seem to have scouts in Portugal for every match played in the country, which may have started after Jose Mourinho became the manager of the club back in May 2016. If that is the case and the club likes the look of the player, coming forward and showing that interest, testing the water if you will, is necessary to see if something could be struck.

United currently seem to be the down and outs of English football. No clear plan in any direction, a non-footballing man making the decisions at the top of the club and a team of players who just do not seem to be all that capable of playing a pass let alone an entire game of football. They even failed to beat Huddersfield Town last weekend, weeks after they had been relegated from the Premier League, facing another relegated team, Cardiff City, at Old Trafford in the final league match this season on Sunday.

One way to change the decline of the club is formulating a plan, sticking to that plan and making sure that the various stages of the said plan are completed. United needs this more than anything. The supporters are not happy which will, in time, ensure a toxic atmosphere at the club and it will eventually mean that investors and sponsors become unhappy and that would be a disaster for the club, the supporters and more importantly Ed Woodward and the Glazers, who would inevitably lose out massively.

If Fernandes is interested in a move to United and it does not cost the earth, he gets placed on moderate wages – no more Sanchez style mistakes of contractual packages, and that any agent fees are also moderate, then it would be a good deal. If any of the above happens, United would not have learned a single thing in the past six years and the rot would continue for evermore.

Fernandes has played 106 times for Sporting in the two seasons he has played for the club, scoring 46 goals, which is 0.43 goals per game, nearly a goal every two matches, which is a good statistic. This season, the 24-year-old has played 45 times for Sporting in the Liga NOS, UEFA Europa League, Carling Cup and the Taça de Portugal. He has scored a total of 27 goals in all competitions, assisting a further 14 goals, meaning that he has been involved in a goal (scoring or assisting) in 91% of the matches played, which is impressive.

Fernandes can play in a number of positions, predominantly as a central midfielder, also an attacking central midfielder. He has also, less often, played as a left-winger, both a left and right midfielder and even as a defensive midfielder, which shows that he is able to play in certain positions if injuries or other absences dictate it, although he seems to be much better in central midfield or central attacking midfield, which is where the majority of his goals and assists came form.

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copyright: JW

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