Bruno Fernandes: Man Utd close to signing Sporting Lisbon midfielder for initial £47m

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes has been linked with a move to Manchester United since last summer

Manchester United are close to completing a deal for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

The Old Trafford club have been in negotiations with Sporting throughout the transfer window but refused to meet an asking price of 80m euros (£68m).

But a breakthrough in negotiations on Tuesday has left United confident of agreeing a deal for the 25-year-old.

The initial fee will be around 55m euros (£47m) but add-ons could increase the overall cost to 80m euros.

Should the deal go through, it will be the biggest of the January transfer window in the Premier League so far.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has prioritised midfield as an area to strengthen this month.

Fernandes joined Sporting from Sampdoria for £7.2m in 2017.

He has gone on to score 64 goals in 137 matches in all competitions and won the Portuguese Cup in 2018-19. He was also named the Primeira Liga's player of the year in both 2017-18 and 2018-19.

He has played 19 times for Portugal and was part of the squad that won the Uefa Nations League.

Analysis

Amid reports of interest from Barcelona on Tuesday, United made another effort to get the deal over the line.

The manner in which the transfer has been structured allows both clubs to come out of it with a sense of satisfaction.

United have avoided paying the 80m euros up front that Sporting were demanding, but the Portuguese club will get their money if all conditions are met.

United will pay 55m euros and then a further 10m euros if team-based targets, including qualifying for the Champions League, are met. The additional 15m euros relate to personal targets.

Fernandes will fly in for a medical in the next 48 hours, although he is not thought likely to be at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday when United play Manchester City in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.

United are still looking at other targets but at this late stage, they would need to move quickly to bring any more new faces into Solskjaer's squad.

United have been monitoring Fernandes since 2015 but distanced themselves from him last summer because they decided to prioritise other areas.

They have assessed Fernandes closely this season and feel he has improved by becoming more mature, influential and tactically astute.

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