Barcelona are confident of signing Portuguese superstar Bruno Fernandes, who is Manchester United’s primary transfer target, from Sporting CP in January.

According to a report from Spanish outlet Superdeporte, via Daily Mail, Manchester United have been handed a blow in their pursuit of Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes as Barcelona have entered the race to sign him and are ‘confident of signing’ the 25-year-old before the end of the month.

It is no secret that Manchester United have been chasing the signing of Fernandes all throughout this month. The Red Devils have been in negotiations with Sporting to hash out a deal, but there have been significant roadblocks as the two teams have failed to agree on a transfer fee.

As per recent reports though, Manchester United decided to give in to Sporting’s demands and hike their bid for Fernandes. However, an agreement is still yet to be arrived at, with the 25-year-old featuring for the Portuguese outfit in their league game against Maritimo on Monday night.

And now, things may be get further complicated for Manchester United as Barcelona have also thrown their hats in the ring to sig Fernandes. The Catalans, as per the report, were planning to make a move for the Portuguese in the summer, as they sought to add a creative presence to the side, but have decided to sign him in January itself.

Barcelona to hijack Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes transfer? (Photo by Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images)

Barcelona to hijack Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes transfer? (Photo by Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images)

The reason behind this decision is that the La Liga champions are planning to use Fernandes as a makeweight in their bid to sign Valencia striker Rodrigo. Barcelona want to loan out the Portuguese playmaker to Los Che till the end of the season, before integrating him into the side next term. And Valencia manager Albert Celades is also open to such an arrangement.

Fernandes has emerged as one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe after a scintillating 2018-19 campaign, during which he scored 32 goals in all competitions. The 25-year-old has been in top form in the ongoing season as well, already netting 15 goals and assisting 14 more.

Manchester United have severely lacked the element of creativity in their attacking play this season and signing Fernandes would have gone a long way in addressing that problem. However, with Barcelona now entering the picture, the situation gets even more complicated for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

With just three days left for the January transfer window to slam shut, it remains to be seen if Manchester United will be able to close the deal for Fernandes or get beaten to the punch by Barcelona or whether the Portuguese ends up staying put at Sporting itself.

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