Manchester United’s bid to sign Bruno Fernandes continues to drag on, amid reports the two clubs remain at loggerheads over the value of the midfielder.
The 25-year-old has told the Portuguese club that he wants to move to Old Trafford and is said to have already agreed personal terms with United on a £130,000-a-week salary.
Talks are continuing over a deal for the player, but reports suggest an announcement over his transfer remains some distance apart as the two clubs continue to haggle over the fee and over how the payment will be made.
Sporting are demanding €80m (£68m) for the 25-year-old playmaker, a figure which United are unwilling to pay.
However, United reportedly see Fernandes‘ value at nearer £50m, but have offered Sporting a number of players to try and meet them somewhere in the middle and help them reach closer to the Primiera Liga club’s valuation.
As such, it’s suggested a compromise deal of around £60m was close, with United set to make a down payment of £50m, and the rest either in bonus-related add-ons and with a number of fringe stars at Old Trafford offered in return in order to help come closer to Sporting’s valuation.
And while Portuguese paper A Bola claims that is something both clubs were willing to explore, the problem lies with the players put on offer.
As per the report, Marcos Rojo, Joel Pereira and Andreas Pereira were all offered to Sporting as part of the deal. But it’s claimed the United stars either rejected Sporting, or the club snubbed what was being proposed to them – leaving the two sides having to go back to the drawing board and having to thrash out what is in effect, a cash deal only.
That has apparently left United floundering over the potential deal, and with the two clubs still some distance apart, reports on Sunday claiming United are now willing to explore opportunities to sign other players if the situation doesn’t get resolved soon.
It’s also reported that United have ultimately told Sporting a deal will not be done unless they drop the fee for Fernandes, who had looked to have made his final appearance in the Lisbon derby against Benfica on Friday night.
Alternatively, it’s suggested United may shelve the plan altogether and look instead to sign either James Maddison or Jack Grealish at the end of the season, with this month’s big outlay instead being spent on a new striker amid fears Marcus Rashford faces up to three months out with a stress fracture of the back.
Solskjaer admitted after the game the club could look to sign a replacement for the England man, stating: “We’ve had many injuries for big players this season. It’s just an unfortunate situation we’re in. We might look at some short term deals as well that could take us through to the summer.
“We don’t desperately need a striker, if the right one is there and it fits for us… we’ve got players who are champing at the bit.”
When asked if the Fernandes deal had hit a snag, Solskjaer continued: “Today is not about the transfer window. It can’t be about that because we’ve just had a game against the best team in the country at the moment. If there are no questions about the game we can move on.”
Either way, if reports are accurate and amid a change in priorities for United, it seems a deal for Fernandes is as far away now for United as it has ever been.