Bruno Fernandes Says He Wants to Play in England Amid Manchester United Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 23, 2019

OEIRAS, PORTUGAL - MAY 25:  Bruno Fernandes of Sporting CP celebrates with trophy after winning the Taca de Portugal Final at the end of the Taca de Portugal Final match between Sporting CP and FC Porto at Estadio Nacional on May 25, 2019 in Oeiras, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes has said he'd "like to play in England" but isn't in charge of his transfer future amid rumours of a deal with Manchester United, which would cost in excess of £56 million. 

Fernandes, 24, has been closely linked with a move to Old Trafford, and the midfielder spoke to A Bola (h/t The Independent's Samuel Lovett) before setting off on Sporting's pre-season tour of the United States:

"The president decides that, not me. I don't care about the market. I've talked about this many times. The only thing I can do now is that I need to catch the plane so I don't miss it.

"Will this be the last match for Sporting? I don't know. It's the coach who decides.

"I told I'd like to play in England, but I don't care about it right now."

Sporting president Frederico Varandas told RTP (h/t Lovett) that the move won't be happening for anything less than €62 million (£55.7 million), via Sky Sports News:

Varandas said: "I don't know if there are many or if there are few [interested clubs]. What I know, a lot has been spoken of values, coming to the press, €55 million, €62 million—for that he doesn't leave, for sure. If Bruno Fernandes leaves, players with quality will come. But if Bruno leaves."

Fernandes scored 32 goals and recorded 18 assists in 53 appearances in all competitions last season, unlocking a great deal more of his potential in attack, via the UEFA Europa League:

The Portugal international scored a previous career best of 16 goals in 2017-18 following his move from Sampdoria.

Juan Mata, 31, didn't look like the same force as a starter for United last season. The club opted to extend his contract until 2020, while Jesse Lingard, 26, Andreas Pereira, 23, and Angel Gomes, 18, are more youthful options in the creative No. 10 role.

Sports writer Chris Winterburn outlined manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's lack of an elite playmaker when discussing United's midfield needs in June:

Fernandes is at his best in attacking midfield, which could see him combine with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood if he gets his preferred move to England.

Sporting play Liverpool at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Wednesday, a matchup that may not be his last time facing the Red Devils' rivals this season. 

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