Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has instructed Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward to wrap up a £25m swoop for Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff this week, according to reports on Tuesday.
As per both the Daily Star and the Daily Telegraph, Solskjaer is desperate to make the impressive Toon youngster his third signing of the summer this week. Deals for Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have already been secured, while a swoop for Longstaff will also comply with Solskjaer’s transfer brief of snapping up Britain’s most talented young stars.
And the Star claims Solskjaer has urged Woodward to secure the signing of Longstaff before the week is out, in the hope of adding the 21-year-old to his squad before they fly out on their pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East on July 8.
United are understood to have had an opening £15million approach for Longstaff rejected, but it’s claimed the Red Devils believe an improved offer £20m, plus £5m in add-ons, will be enough to convince Newcastle to sell.
Longstaff appeared to rule out a summer move at the start of the month when he reiterated his desire to stay at St James’ Park.
Longstaff said: “If someone told us at the start of the season that by the end of it you’d be linked with these teams, I’d have laughed at them. But it’s nice, it’s flattering.”
However, the departure of manager Rafael Benitez is believed to have prompted a change of heart for Longstaff, leaving United confident of a deal.
And while Longstaff remains their most immediate priority, United appear to have hit something of a stumbling block n their negotiations with Sporting Lisbon over Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes scored or assisted 50 goals in 53 appearances this season in the Primeira Liga and has an €80m (£71m) exit clause in his contract, which is attracting interest from a number of top clubs.
But it is United who are leading the chase with reports over the weekend suggesting they had already agreed personal terms with the player’s agent over a move to Old Trafford.
United are reported to have agreed €6m a year plus bonuses for the Portugal midfielder following talks between the club and his agent last week, with Fernandes agreeing to making the switch to Old Trafford if a fee was agreed with Sporting Lisbon.
But reports in Portugal claim United’s opening offer to Sporting is just €35m (£31m) has been flatly rejected – some way short of the €80m exit clause Fernandes has in his Sporting contract.
And while it is suggested the Portuguese club would accept €70m for the prolific midfielder, United are still some way short of tempting Sporting into the sale.
As a result of their failure to agree a deal for Fernandes, United have since been linked again with Real Madrid playmaker Isco.
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