Manchester United are reportedly still keen on launching an attempt to sign Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who is a target for Manchester City

According to a report from ESPN, Premier League heavyweights Manchester United still retain an interest in signing Sporting Lisbon star Bruno Fernandes in the summer, but will have to battle neighbours and arch-rivals Manchester City to land him.

After what has been a disappointing 2018-19 campaign on so many levels, Manchester United face a huge summer of reckoning. How the upcoming transfer window pans out will have a major say in how the next season goes for the Red Devils. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be eyeing a major squad revamp ahead of the upcoming term, with midfield being a key area of focus.

Manchester United will lose Ander Herrera on a free transfer at the end of the season, as the Spaniard is set to join PSG once his current contract expires. His compatriot Juan Mata too is likely to be on the move when his deal with the 20-time English champions runs out. With doubts surrounding the future of Real Madrid-linked Paul Pogba, the midfield department would be in need of restructuring.

Bruno Fernandes has emerged as a potential candidate for Manchester United on the back of an excellent season for Sporting Lisbon. The 24-year-old, who is in his second season with the Portuguese outfit, was named the captain this term and has stepped up to the plate in an impressive fashion.

So far in the 2018-19 campaign, Fernandes has come up with spectacular returns of 31 goals and 17 assists in 50 matches across all competitions. Able to play in a multitude of positions in midfield, the Portuguese international would add a much-needed creative spark to this Manchester United side, while also acting as an additional source of goals.

However, they will have to battle bitter rivals Manchester City, who are also heavily interested in signing up the 24-year-old Fernandes.

Pep Guardiola’s side will be needing a long-term heir to David Silva, who is 33 years old and will be entering the final year of his contract in the summer, as is the case with German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. And the Sporting captain, with his penchant for scoring goals and creating chances does fit the bill for the Cityzens.

Manchester calling? (Photo by Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester calling? (Photo by Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images)

The report claims that Fernandes will be available for a transfer fee of around £50 million. Sporting are open to the possibility of doing a deal with Manchester City and are likely to demand Marlos Moreno and Douglas Luiz, both of whom are currently away on loan from the Premier League leaders, as part of the transfer.

Manchester City will not be starting any negotiations until their FA Cup final is out of the way later this month, providing Manchester United with a small window of opportunity to initiate talks with Sporting and Fernandes over a summer move. However, the fact that the Red Devils will not be playing in the Champions League might prove to be a problem.

Given the amount of interest that Fernandes is generating, a transfer away from Portugal is definitely on the cards. It remains to be seen, however, if he decides to join Manchester City or Manchester United or a different club altogether.

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