Manchester United have made slow progress in their bid to secure the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon after failing to agree on a transfer fee and how potential add-ons will be structured.
Reports on Sunday claimed United will this week launch a formal offer of £51million for the Portugal star as the Red Devils looks to bring in more creativity and a great goalscoring threat from midfield.
It was suggested United’s opening bid included £51m in cash, while United were also willing to offer two of three players as makeweight in the deal.
And while reports have suggested the Primiera Liga side have expressed an interest in re-signing their former defender Marcos Rojo as part of the deal, the two clubs are yet to agree on the most important factor – that being how much Fernandes should be valued at.
Reports claim officials from both clubs held discussions over the deal on Monday and then throughout the evening without reaching an agreement. And although Fernandes is said to be keen on a move to Old Trafford, the Daily Mail claims that United and Sporting are still ‘some way apart’ in their valuation of the player.
As per the report, the Red Devils are believed to have offered £50million upfront plus a further £10million in add-ons for the 25-year-old.
However, it’s claimed that Sporting value Fernandes at nearer £65million – and are also said to want United to supplement the salary of Rojo as part of the deal.
Fernandes caught the eye of Europe’s top clubs last season after a stellar campaign which saw him score 20 times in the league and provide 13 assists; form which saw him almost join Tottenham over the summer.
He has continued his good form with 15 goals and 13 assists in all competitions already this term ahead of Friday’s Lisbon derby against Benfica.
And while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is known to be keen to add midfield reinforcements due to the current injuries for Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba, the United manager would not be drawn on reports that he had personally scouted the Sporting midfielder.
Solksjaer said: “We go and watch games all the time, but where I’ve been and when I’ve been somewhere is irrelevant.
“He [Fernandes] is another player at different club that I can’t speak about.”
Sporting boss Jorge Silas also appears resigned to losing Fernandes this month.
“He’s a huge player. All players like Bruno always have a lot of market,” he said. “We know that he’ll always be a much talked of player and sought by clubs as big as they say.
“I don’t like to think about that beforehand, but I’m starting to think of alternatives within our team if Bruno doesn’t stay with us.
“I hope that doesn’t happen. In Portugal, unfortunately, we can’t keep the best players for long. Bruno is the best player in the league.”