Manchester United look ready to end their interest in Bruno Fernandes, according to reports in both the local and Portuguese media.
Fernandes has emerged as a top United transfer target at the start of the summer but so far the Red Devils are yet to make an official approach for the Portugal international midfielder – despite rumours that a deal is close to being concluded.
Sporting Lisbon are hoping to make around £60million from the sale of the 24-year-old, while United were rumoured to be only willing to pay closer to £53m for the playmaker.
However, the Manchester Evening News, citing sources in Portugal, doubt United will formally move for Fernandes at all – despite already seemingly agreeing a salary package to bring him to Old Trafford.
They claim Fernandes had only been lined up by United on the understanding they were set to lose Paul Pogba this summer, with the Portuguese star seen as a possible replacement for the Frenchman.
Pogba has made his intentions to leave Old Trafford clear in recent weeks, with Real Madrid looking the likeliest of suitors and said to planning to offload as many as six players to finance a deal.
However, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to keep the World Cup winner at Old Trafford this summer and made his intentions around him abundantly clear.
“There’s been loads of talks and speculation about many of our players, both ins and outs, but for me it’s business as usual,” said Solskjaer.
“When you’re at Manchester United you expect these things to pop up. I’ve spoken to Paul, Rom [Lukaku], Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Jesse [Lingard], spoken to most of them, more or less, because you keep in touch with them.
“We don’t have any bids for our players so, other than Paul, most of our players have long contracts and were Manchester United, we don’t have to sell players.
“Paul is a great great professional, he has a heart of gold. Paul’s never put himself out of the team, always given his best and I can’t report anything but that.
“There’s agent talk all the time and, as I said, we’ve not had any bids, so that’s all I can say for this matter.”
“Paul’s never been a concern for me, he’s working hard, he’s a true pro, a proud boy, so it’s the same answer again. I can’t be sitting here talking about Paul and what agents are saying.
“We’ve got a few years left of his contract and he’s been fantastic.”
It’s also been suggested Solskjaer has asked Pogba to give United one more season to see where they are in 12 months time; thus signalling the end of their efforts to sign Fernandes for now.
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.
Get the latest personalised Red Devils products on our new TEAMtalk Man Utd shop!