Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon for an initial £46.6m on a five-and-a-half year contract, with an option to extend for a further year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has finally landed his top January target after weeks of haggling over the fee, while United also saw off late interest from Barcelona in the 25-year-old.
United will pay £46.6million up-front, with a further £8.5m dependent on Champions League qualification and appearances by the player. The final bill could rise by a further £12.7million based on a number of further clauses based on Fernandes’ achievements over the long term.
Fernandes, who has 19 caps for Portugal and helped them win the Nations League last summer, scored an impressive 64 goals in 137 matches for Sporting in all competitions.
Fernandes told United’s official website: “My love of Manchester United really started when I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo play and ever since then I have been a big fan of this great club.
“For me to now play for Manchester United feels incredible, I have worked hard to get to this moment and I can promise the fans that I will give everything for the badge to help bring us more success and trophies.
“I want to thank Sporting for everything they have done for me. It is surreal to hear the nice words that have been said about me from players that used to play for this team.
“A massive thank you to Ole and everyone at Manchester United for the trust they have shown in me and I can’t wait to start to repay that on the pitch.”
Speaking about the arrival of Fernandes after Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup win at rivals Manchester City, Solskjaer told MUTV: “We are delighted that we have agreed with Sporting.
“It has been good negotiations, we know through history that these are two clubs that have been good with each other and we have reached an agreement.”
The signing has been met with some skepticism by Gary Neville, however, with the United legend warning not to expect too much from Fernandes over the remainder of the season.
He told Sky Sports: “Man Utd’s midfield has needed strengthening for some time. They’ve had massive issues, not just in terms of recruiting players but with injuries to key players – Pogba, McTominay are missing – so it’s essential they do a deal in that area.
“I thought they would do at least two deals in this window so we’ll see what happens. A striker is required now with what’s happened with Marcus Rashford but (Fernandes) is a positive.
“They’ve got a good-quality player but I’ve not got huge expectations in terms of the next few months. In terms of coming to England and settling, he’ll need time.”
Fernandes is expected to go straight into the United squad for Saturday evening’s home clash with Wolves.