Manchester United and Manchester City are reportedly set to renew rivalries in the transfer market, this time for Sporting Lisbon star Bruno Fernandes.
According to The Sun, Manchester United and Manchester City are both showing genuine interest in Bruno Fernandes. The Sporting Lisbon superstar has been in tremendous form this season, which has drawn interest from several clubs from the big European leagues, including the Premier League duo.
Bruno Fernandes was one of the few players that chose to stick with Sporting after the training ground incident, which saw many of their superstars terminate their contracts and move elsewhere. The rebuilding phase started with incorporating youngsters into the first-team setup.
But, Fernandes has been stepped up big time. Playing in a rather advanced role as a number 10, the 24-year-old has racked up 28 goals and 15 assists in a total of 48 games in all competitions so far this season for Sporting.
Boasting an unprecedented 45% goal participation in the domestic league for Sporting, Fernandes has drawn crazy interest due to his scintillating form, with Manchester United and Manchester City interested in the 24-year-old.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tried out several formations. But, the one he seems to love the most or the one that fits his philosophy the best seems to be the 4-4-2 diamond formation, which requires a number 10 at the forefront of the four-man midfield. Jesse Lingard did impress at the start but his form has dipped.
Juan Mata has not been selected much, perhaps due to his contract situation, and when he was deployed in the same role as Lingard, he failed to offer much. Fernandes could fill that void and be the creative outlet for Manchester United while also offering goals if and when the strikers are out of form or just not able to get the ball into the back of the net.
Manchester City are looking for a replacement for David Silva. The veteran has served for almost a decade at Manchester City and has dazzled onlookers with his silky movement. But, the ability to provide goals from midfield is an underrated trait, something Pep Guardiola is missing in his midfield arsenal at Manchester City.
While Raheem Sterling has stepped up massively this season, the wingers and forwards cannot be relied to provide all of the goals at all times. With Kevin De Bruyne struggling to get a run of games under his belt due to an injury-plagued season, Guardiola would love to add a player like Bruno Fernandes to the squad.
Perhaps, the manager will take cue from the success of Bernardo Silva at Etihad after initial hiccups. Manchester City are hoping to pip Manchester United to Bruno Fernandes and have reportedly already opened negotiations with Sporting over the prospect of a summer transfer.
Despite a buyout clause of £87 million, the Manchester clubs are unlikely to be perturbed in their pursuit of the 24-year-old. Bruno Fernandes himself has claimed he is ready for the big leagues, according to the report. And it just might be time for the Portuguese international to take the next step in his fledgling career.