Solskjaer provides Bruno Fernandes update as Man Utd dangle duo as bait

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated his confidence that the Manchester United board will back him in the transfer market this month amid heightening reports a deal for Bruno Fernandes is inching closer.

Reports on Sunday claim United will this week launch a formal offer of £51million for the Sporting Lisbon star as the Red Devils looks to bring in more creativity and a great goalscoring threat from midfield.

United’s need for reinforcements in the centre of the park has been highlighted by the injury sustained by Scott McTominay and the ongoing absence of Paul Pogba, who this week also underwent surgery on an ankle problem.

And addressing speculation a deal could soon be done, Solskjaer said: “Bruno Fernandes? I can’t talk about individuals that play for other clubs, but I’ve got to say I do have the backing.

“We do have the backing to do something if the right thing comes up in this window.

“The owners and [executive vice-chairman] Ed [Woodward], they know what we’re building towards.”

Sporting are said to value the player at £60m and Portuguese news outlet DN have reported that United are willing to offer two players as makeweight in the deal and to come closer to their valuation.

One of those is widely expected to be Marcos Rojo, who joined United from Sporting in 2014. The Argentina defender has been cleared to leave this month and a return to his former club as part of the package for Fernandes is now expected to go sanctioned; that despite the injury concerns surrounding Harry Maguire.


It’s suggested Andreas Periera or even Jesse Lingard could also be offered as part of the deal, though whether Sporting would be interested in either – or would prefer a straight cash deal – remains to be seen.

BeIN Sport, meanwhile are reporting that Tottenham could yet gazump United with Jose Mourinho also keen on a deal for the Portuguese midfielder.

However, it is United who look favourites to secure his signing with Solskjaer and coach Mike Phelan making a personal check on the player recently.

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.”