As per a report from the Independent, Manchester United are preparing a big-money bid for Sporting CP star man Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes, a gifted attack-minded midfielder, made the return to his home country of Portugal with Sporting in the summer of 2017, after a 5-year stint in Italy.
And to say that the 24-year-old has since gone on to establish himself as a key contributor at the José Alvalade Stadium would be putting it lightly.
Fernandes’ combination of eye for goal, set-piece prowess, creative flair and penchant for the spectacular have seen him emerge as one of Portuguese football’s leading talents over the last two seasons.
After directly contributing to over 30 goals across all competitions during his debut Sporting campaign, Fernandes subsequently took his game to another level again this past season, on his way to an eye-catching 29 goals and 17 assists.
Bruno Fernandes in Primeira Liga this season:
👕 30 games
🔑 96 chances created
💪 38 tackles
⚡️ 29 dribbles
⚽️ 16 goals
🅰️ 12 assists
Manchester City are close to signing the Sporting CP midfielder, per A Bola! 👀 pic.twitter.com/3mE5igJogT
— Goal (@goal) May 1, 2019
Imminent Man City switch?
As such, the 13-time capped international’s standout showings in the Portuguese capital have inevitably begun to catch the eye of some of European football’s biggest clubs.
Premier League champions Manchester City were even reported to have clinched a deal for Fernandes back in May:
— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) May 6, 2019
Such claims, however, were definitively shut down just days later, as it came to light that the Citizens were in fact not in negotiations over Fernandes:
Jesus, seems I got it wrong on Bruno Fernandes! City insist they’re *not* in for him. Apologies for the duff information 😬😳
— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) May 9, 2019
Spurs vs Man United?
This has since seen the door opened once more for all other interested parties, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United having all been touted as potential destinations over recent weeks.
James Ducker of the Telegraph, meanwhile, provided updates on the respective pursuits of Spurs and United last month:
Bit of Bruno Fernandes detail. His agent, Miguel Pinho, met with #THFC y’day. Fernandes & Lo Celso Spurs’ midfield targets. #MUFC, who met Pinho 2 months ago, asked him in past fortnight for some more time as they focus first on signing a RB (Wan-Bissaka) https://t.co/s2XCpyzQYX
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) June 20, 2019
United to test Sporting’s resolve
And a further update on the interest of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man United in Fernandes has emerged this afternoon.
As per the Independent, despite having previously been rebuffed in their approaches for the Portuguese midfielder, the Red Devils are ready to push forward with a big-money proposal.
Miguel Delaney claims that United are poised to table a £50 million offer for Fernandes, amid ‘confidence’ that a deal will eventually be found.
Significantly, the Manchester giants’ move for the 24-year-old is not thought to be dependent on the future of Paul Pogba.
Fernandes himself, meanwhile, is reportedly keen on making the move to Old Trafford.