The English giants want to move early and seal a deal for Bruno Fernandes, even as the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool circle above the Sporting Lisbon star
Chelsea had their scouts present multiple times when Fernandes was in action in January, as the 24-year-old has continued to enjoy a staggering season in front of goal. He has scored 22 times in 39 appearances , adding a further 11 assists to his name. And now, Portuguese outlet A Bola has claimed that Manchester United have stolen a march on their domestic rivals by booking a meeting with Fernandes’ representatives, which will happen sometime this week.
Sporting, as expected, want to keep a hold of Fernandes for another season at least, thanks to his red-hot form, but an offer between £50 million and £61m could tempt the Portuguese side to sell. Added to this is the fact that the 18-time Portuguese champions are in an excellent position to negotiate, with Fernandes being under contract until 2023.
Liverpool, too, have been heavily linked with a move for the attacking midfielder, while Italian giants AC Milan have also been keeping tabs on Fernandes. Despite such attention from rival English clubs and Italian sides, United are apparently in the most advanced position go sign the midfielder. The Red Devils are gearing up for a busy summer, with club chief Ed Woodward looking to appoint a new permanent manager and bring in several new faces, while also mulling the idea of a director of football for the club.
Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is one of the frontrunners to get the nod as permanent coach, thanks to his results and being a club legend, and United have also been linked with a raft of big-money moves for players like Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Fernandes also fulfills the billing of a future star, as he does not turn 25 until September, and he has steadily improved over the last 24 months. After notching five goals in the 2016/17 season, Fernandes struck 16 times the following campaign, along with 20 assists.
United have been making the right noises recently regarding player sales and purchases and also a good structure to the club. Woodward has finally seemed to have understood that leaving footballing matters and decisions to someone qualified enough and with knowledge of the sport is vital, and that can only mean good news for the clubs fans. Signing Fernandes early would also be a statement of intent by the fallen giants, and will show that the club as serious about a complete overhaul of the squad and are willing to invest in youth in order to get back to their glory days.