Manchester United are nudging ever closer towards the capture of Bruno Fernandes after reports on Monday claimed Sporting Lisbon had named their price and set a deadline by which they want the sale to go through.
Reports on Sunday claimed United will this week launch a formal offer of £51million for the Portugal star as the Red Devils looks to bring in more creativity and a great goalscoring threat from midfield.
It was suggested United’s opening bid included £51m in cash, while United were also willing to offer two of three players as makeweight in the deal.
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.
Reports in the Daily Mirror claim the other players on offer were goalkeeper Joel Periera and midfielder Angel Gomes.
However, it’s reported by the paper that Sporting have rejected United’s proposal to include players as part of the deal and have instead named their terms for a transfer to happen.
As per the report, Sporting want £50m up front with an additional £15m in add-ons believed to be structured on a £5m payment for each time United qualify for the Champions League up to a maximum of three additional payments in five years.
Furthermore, the Portuguese giants are reported to have told United they want the move done and dusted by Friday but with an announcement delayed until after their crunch clash with bitter rivals Benfica this week.
That will allow Sporting enough time to sign a potential replacement for a player who has 13 goals and 13 assist this season from 24 games this season, but also grant him a farewell appearance in what is seen as their biggest match of the season.
Sporting, who only recently tied the player to a new deal, have decided to cash in this month, as opposed to the summer, as it is now claimed the player has told the Primeira Liga club he wants to make the move to Old Trafford as soon as possible and has set his heart of departing the Portuguese capital.
The editor of Portuguese publication O Jogo, Filipe Dias, told Sky Sports: “Sporting will accept €70m, but paid in instalments. United is a club that Bruno Fernandes really likes in England, it’s a club that he really wants to play for.”
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.”