Manchester United have been handed a boost in pursuit of Portugal star Bruno Fernandes, as Sporting Lisbon identify his replacement.
The 24-year-old announced himself as one of the most talented players in European football last season, contributing a staggering 32 goals and 18 assists to Sporting’s cause across all competitions.
The Portuguese playmaker has been linked with a number of top clubs during the summer window, including Man United and Manchester City, but no formal offers have yet been submitted.
However, according to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils opened talks with Sporting over a possible deal for Fernandes this week and now the Primeira Liga club have lined up a swoop for the man to fill the boots of a prized asset.
United are now closing in on a primary target after this major new development, with Sporting set to make a move for Palermo’s Aleksandar Trajkovski – as per Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla.
The 26-year-old is expected to sign a four-year contract at Jose Alvalade Stadium in the coming days, which leaves the door wide open for Fernandes to complete a switch to Old Trafford.
This transfer saga has been rumbling on for what seems like an eternity, but it finally seems to be reaching its conclusion as Sporting prepare for life without their mercurial talisman.
The Mail reports that United will have to pay around £70 million for Fernandes, but that is a small price to pay for a player who could bring a whole new dimension to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield.
Fernandes has the quality to give United the creative spark they sorely lacked last season, while also taking some of the pressure off the club’s strikers with his ability to drive forward and score goals.
Negotiations should progress quickly once Sporting wrap up their latest signing and Red Devils supporters can then look forward to welcoming a new hero.