Manchester United are preparing to submit an opening offer of around £49million for Bruno Fernandes, claims a report.
The Sporting Lisbon midfielder is in demand after he scored or assisted 50 goals in 53 appearances last season in Primeira Liga and United are one of several clubs keen on the 24-year-old.
Fernandes has and €80million (£71m) exit clause in his contract and Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City have all been linked with his services.
Now, according to reports in Portugal from A Bola, United are prepping an offer of around €55million for the 31-goal midfielder.
The report comes just days after United apparently lodged a bid of £40million to Leicester for England defender Harry Maguire. That was quickly rejected with the Foxes rating the centre-back at around £80million – precisely double the amount Ed Woodward had in mind.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is searching frantically for reinforcements to his defence and midfield, but an offer that falls more than £20million short is unlikely to cut the mustard with Sporting.
Tottenham’s move for Fernandes is though dependent on the departure of Christian Eriksen, report the same Portuguese outlet, so United’s way forward looks clear as long as they can agree a fee with Sporting.
It’s claimed that United met with Fernandes’ agent Miguel Pinho earlier this week to talk over a deal, and their valuation of Fernandes may have been guided by Liverpool’s reported bid.
United’s willingness to improve on that may well come down to whether Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku or David De Gea are sold this summer. The futures of all three are open with Lukaku looking the most likely to move on with Inter Milan very interested in the Belgium striker.
ESPN claim Solskajer has just £100million to spend on new transfers, plus any cash the Norwegian raises from player sales and so the departures of Pogba and Lukaku could well be key for his summer rebuilding plans.