Manchester United have reportedly agreed personal terms with Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes. According to ESPN, talks with Fernandes’ agent Jorge Mendes have gone well, and now the two clubs just need to agree a transfer fee. Sporting are said to be holding out for €80 million, though United are keen to knock around €20m off the asking price. His release clause is reportedly €100m, though there seems to be little chance of them holding out for that much.
Sporting have been through some off-field troubles over the last couple of years. Most notably, supporters attacked their own players near the club’s training ground back in May 2018, leading to several players rescinding their contracts. Fernandes was initially one of them, though he decided to return after being persuaded by the club’s new president. He’s since played some of the best football of his life, but Sporting remain a long way off competing for the Portuguese title. After 16 games, they sit in fourth, 16 points adrift of the league leaders Benfica.
Despite United and Sporting having held talks, it seems unlikely the transfer will go through until after Sporting’s big derby clash with Benfica on Friday. The club’s coach Silas has described Fernandes’ presence as a “certainty”, and insisted that the Portuguese international is worth “a lot more” than the transfer figures cited.