Report: Manchester United Agree £62M Fee for Bruno Fernandes Transfer

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2019

Sporting CP's Bruno Fernandes passes the ball during the first half of a soccer match against Liverpool FC Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Manchester United have agreed a £62 million fee with Sporting CP for the transfer of 24-year-old midfielder Bruno Fernandes, per Corriere dello Sport (h/t MailOnline's James Ayles).

Fernandes, who scored 20 league goals for Sporting last season, is said to be on his way to Manchester to undergo a medical ahead of the deal going through.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to bring in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio in addition to Fernandes, per the reports.

Corriere dello Sport (h/t Football Italia) reported a deal is close for the Serbia international. United are set to pay €75 million up front, with €15 million in add-ons, while the player's agent, Mateja Kezman, is due a payment of €10 million.

Meanwhile, Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi said on Saturday: "I'd like Milinkovic-Savic to stay, but I also believe the club has to consider offers when they come in and then make a decision."

However, Fernandes' transfer may come first. Settling on the fee appears to be the final step in what has been a protracted pursuit.

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Recent reports from La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t FourFourTwo) revaled United had offered £55 million, which was £7 million short of an asking price on which Sporting were unwilling to compromise.

Despite any haggling over the fee, Fernandes has remained keen, telling reporters on Tuesday how he'd "like to play in England," per Sky Sports News.

It's good news for United, who have the chance to acquire a player of rare talent. Fernandes' well-timed runs from midfield and willingness to take on shots early have yielded an incredible number of goals for someone who plays position.

As well as his scoring threat, Fernandes knows how to unlock defences and release runners in behind. The mix of efficiency and flair has led to some impressive numbers in recent seasons:

Securing Fernandes' signature would give Solskjaer another attack-minded midfielder to dovetail with Paul Pogba. Alternatively, Fernandes could also give United the cover to let the club-record signing leave this summer.

The Frenchman continues to be linked with Real Madrid, who were described as "increasingly confident" of making a deal happen by ESPN FC's Rodrigo Faez and Dermot Corrigan on Friday.

A search for midfield reinforcements had taken the Red Devils to Newcastle United's Sean Longstaff, valued at £50 million by his club, according to MailOnline's Craig Hope. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley told Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail that Longstaff "is not for sale" in an interview published on Friday.

While Longstaff, 21, has considerable potential, Portugal international Fernandes is further along in his development. United need proven commodities while Pogba's future remains uncertain, Nemanja Matic and Fred continue to struggle for consistency and given Ander Herrera joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

Adding Fernandes along with a powerhouse like Milinkovic-Savic would complete a necessary revamp of United's engine room and give Solskjaer to resources he needs to take the club back into the UEFA Champions League and Premier League title contention.