Manchester United will not be signing Bruno Fernandes this month after failing to agree terms for his transfer, according to a reporter close to the all matters over the Red Devils.
United have been locked in talks over a deal for Fernandes for well over a week and reports on Tuesday claimed that common ground had finally been reached and that a deal to confirm his transfer to Old Trafford would soon be announced.
As reported by Plataforma, [via the Daily Mail] United were only willing to pay £42.5m up front for Fernandes – but have since returned with an improved offer and it’s reported an agreement has finally been reached.
However, super-agent Jorge Mendes cast doubts over the potential deal on Wednesday evening when he stated that he doesn’t know if the talented Sporting Lisbon midfielder will move to Old Trafford.
“If he doesn’t leave now, he will leave for sure in the summer because Sporting have already spoken with other clubs,” said Mendes.
“Something will happen but I am not sure if now or at the end of the season.”
Despite reports earlier in the United that the two clubs had settled on a fee of £46.9million (€55m) plus bonuses, the latest claims suggest Sporting tried to navigate the fee northwards once again late on and instead tried to take the transfer nearer the €80m (£67.5m) mark – something United were unwilling to pay.
United have eight days left of the window to try and sort out a deal, though BBC Sport journalist Simon Stone, who reports on all matters at Old Trafford, says that, under the current terms and conditions surrounding a deal, all sides are in agreement that a transfer will not be happening.
“Fair to say all sides in agreement that Bruno Fernandes deal as it stands will not be agreed,” Stone said on Twitter.
“Needs Sporting to either lower their demands or United to increase what they are offering.”
Merson tells United to abandon Bruno Fernandes chase
With the deal continuing to stall, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes the Red Devils should switch focus from Fernandes to Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.
He told the Daily Star: “Forget Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United should be trying to sign Jack Grealish.
“He is one of the top ten players in the Premier League right now. He is absolutely different class and would walk into almost any other Premier League team.
“Grealish would walk into the United team. Tottenham tried to get him not long ago and he’d walk into their team right now as well.
I can’t explain to people how good this kid is. Aston Villa lost 6-1 to Manchester City and he was the only one who still had time on the ball.
“His composure is something else.
“I don’t understand why clubs aren’t queuing up to try and sign him. Is it because he’s English but isn’t playing for England?
“Bruno Fernandes is a full international. He’s had clubs all over Europe looking at him. But he’s never played in this league before. Grealish has. And he’s ripping it up every week.
“I love watching him play. If I had to pay to watch one player in the Premier League, I’d watch him.”
After Wednesday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley, Solskjaer admitted reinforcements were badly needed after being questioned about Fernandes.
“We are working to improve and get players in and hopefully we can get something over the line,” the United boss said.