Bruno Fernandes has reportedly agreed financial terms with Manchester United over a transfer in the January transfer window.
The Red Devils have been tracking the goalscoring midfielder for some time and, having failed to sign him last summer, they have stepped up their pursuit in the winter market.
One stumbling block has been agreeing a fee between the two sides, with Sporting reportedly demanding £50m up front as well as £15m in add-ons, while another is Sporting’s request for Fernandes to stay until the weekend.
Sporting are desperate for their talisman to play in Friday’s Lisbon derby against rivals Benfica, despite United wanting a deal rushed through so he can feature in their own huge clash against bitter rivals Liverpool on Sunday.
And it would agree that United have agreed to that condition, as reported in the Daily Star.
“What I keep hearing back from the Portuguese end is that they expect this deal to be done, they see Bruno Fernandes playing against Benfica on Friday, that being his final game, and then the transfer going through subsequent to that match,” Castles said on Reach PLC’s Transfer Window podcast.
“I’m told Bruno Fernandes and his agent are happy for him to play in that game.
“Obviously it’s one of huge important to Sporting, they’re at home to Benfica, they don’t want to lose to their city rivals.
“There’s been question marks over why Sporting would take the risk of Bruno getting injured in that game, and a deal that they want to make, they want to sell this player, they want to reap the revenue from that deal, why they would do that.
“Well I think it just gives you an indication of how important derby matches are in Portuguese football that they will take this risk over it.
“Financial terms I’m told are agreed between Bruno Fernandes and the club and the player’s agent is saying that he fully expects that deal to go through and Bruno to be a Manchester United player.”
United will now be hoping that Fernandes does not pick up a serious injury in that game that would scupper any big-money move.
Meanwhile, former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino kept his cards close to his chest when the questions turned to his next move when speaking at the launch of new television channel LaLigaTV.
The future of the Argentine has been the subject of great speculation, with a sensational recent report claiming he had already made a key demand if he were to take over the reins at Old Trafford.
Key Man Utd figures were then reported to be hopeful that his replacing of incumbent manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be organised before the start of next season.
Now, speaking to the media on Wednesday night, the 47-year-old was careful to keep his options open regarding his next move. Read more…