Manchester United face the risk of missing out on primary midfield target Bruno Fernandes, with the board unwilling to pay £70 million for the Portuguese star.
As per a report from Portuguese publication Correio da Manha, as carried by The Sun, Manchester United’s pursuit of Sporting Lisbon superstar Bruno Fernandes could end in disappointment as the Red Devils’ board are unwilling to spend more than £50 million for the midfielder, who is valued at £70 million by his club.
Bruno Fernandes has been heavily linked with a switch to Manchester United all summer, after a sensational 2018-19 season with Sporting. The 24-year-old enjoyed a spectacular campaign, during which he bagged 32 goals and 18 assists from 53 matches in all competitions for the Portuguese heavyweights, leading them to two domestic cup triumphs.
The midfielder also played a key role in Portugal’s success in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, which has led to serious interest from Manchester United. The 20-time English champions had a disappointing campaign last time out, finishing sixth in the Premier League, missing out on qualification to the Champions League.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen on building a squad in his own image and has identified the over-reliance on Paul Pogba for creativity from the middle of the park to be a major concern. The Norwegian wants to address that before the next season, especially with the Frenchman seeking an exit from Old Trafford this summer.
Solskjaer, as per the report, is convinced that signing Fernandes would be the ideal signing for the club to move forward. But, the Manchester United board though aren’t entirely convinced by the Portuguese international, which has led them to refrain from sanctioning the £70 million that is being demanded by Sporting Lisbon for his services.
Manchester United had made an initial offer of £35 million for the Portuguese international which was knocked back by Sporting Lisbon, who are holding firm on their £70 million valuation of their captain. However, as per the latest report, the Red Devils’ hierarchy are unwilling to offer more than £50 million for Fernandes, which has led to an impasse in negotiations.
Manchester United have spent close to £70 million already on the signings of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Swansea City and Crystal Palace respectively. And they are reportedly closing in on the capture of primary defensive target Harry Maguire from Leicester City in an £80 million deal.
This is believed to have played a part in the board taking a stance on the Fernandes deal even though Solskjaer wants the club to splash the cash for the midfielder. The report further adds that Manchester United are unlikely to sanction an improved offer for the Portuguese, unless Pogba leaves the club this summer, which would boost their finances tremendously.
The situation is far from ideal for Manchester United, as they face the possibility of losing out on the signing of Fernandes, who has been their primary target to strengthen the midfield. It remains to be seen if the board align with the manager’s wishes and decide to spend heavily on the Sporting Lisbon star in the coming weeks.