Manchester United and Sporting CP are reportedly closer to completing the deal which will take Bruno Fernandes from Lisbon to Manchester, according to reports by Portuguese journalist Gonçalo Lopes. Over the past few weeks it has been stated that Sporting want to get €70 million for Fernandes, 25, in order for him to leave the club this month which came after a busy summer of speculation.
It is clear that United need to strengthen their squad after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw Marouane Fellaini leave the club last January and Ander Herrera leave the club in the summer with no midfielder being signed. Fred has played the majority of the season, partnering Scott McTominay for much of the time but his injury saw Fred partnered with Nemanja Matic at this present time with Paul Pogba also on the sidelines.
United have just Pogba, McTominay, Fred and Matic as the experienced members of the midfield with the option to utilise Tim Fosu-Mensah, James Garner and even Dylan Levitt in the midfield. Andreas Pereira, who has proven the central midfield area is not for him, has played in this position also. United need to find creativity, which currently is not rife in the squad which is seeing fewer chances created because of this.
When the Portuguese and English media have reported anything about Fernandes, they seem to give the impression that the prospective deal is further forward than it actually is at the time. All throughout the summer we heard about his the deal was close to completion, days away from completion and how Fernandes himself was crying about his impending transfer to another club and league. Lopes has confirmed that;
“The deal was about to fall apart, the parties were very far from reaching an agreement, but Plataforma knows that the last few hours have seen progress in negotiations between Manchester United and Sporting Portugal.”
It would seem that United’s interest in getting this deal done now comes from the fact that a serious injury to Marcus Rashford, who had a stress fracture in his back, which after playing against Wolverhampton Wanderers, in a 16-minute cameo, turned into a double stress fracture, therefore keeping him out of action for weeks. However, with a floating bone in his ankle, which requires surgery.
Sporting accepted that they may have to accept an offer of €60 million with €10 million on bonuses to allow the player to move to the Old Trafford club but with United seemingly using the clubs financial problems to explore a cheaper deal, they two clubs would need to find a meeting point for the deal to be completed. It is suggested that a €55 million deal could be completed this week.
Yes, we have heard all of this before. It was expected that a deal would be announced a week ago, but the came and went then speculation of something happening after Sporting’s 2-0 defeat to Benfica also came and went with nothing significant happening. I am feeling the same thing for this, the end of the week coming and going without anything significant happening. It seems to be how things like this happen.
Lopes suggests that United were willing to improve their offer but Sporting would need to compromise. He states that could reach €55 million to get the deal done, with is both parties moving closer together in order to get the deal done. There will be bonuses applied but nothing has been said about this. Perhaps Sporting could reach the €70 million they wanted to let Fernandes leave, maybe it will be less.
I guess we will just have to wait an see what happens this week, however, a week on Friday, the January transfer window will close so there is not a lot of time to get this done. Perhaps Fernandes, if the deal does go through, could play against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at the Etihad on the 20 January? Perhaps he could play in the first February match. I doubt he could be playing this weekend.