Manchester United have confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Sporting CP for Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, subject to a medical.
The Red Devils have been heavily linked with a move for the 25-year-old over the last 12 months, though haggling over price meant negotiations dragged on and on.
However, after reports emerged on Tuesday night claiming a breakthrough had finally been made, United have decided to confirm a deal is done – for a rumoured fee of £46.6m upfront – even though Fernandes still needs to undergo medical checks.
A short statement on the club’s official website said: “Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached an agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes.
“The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course.”
There were previously suggestions that La Liga giants Barcelona were considering hijacking the transfer in order to get their deal for Valencia’s Rodrigo over the line, though those rumours were dispelled almost as quickly as they materialised.
Fernandes has been one of Europe’s leading performers over the past year or so, with his goal and assist record making for good reading. The Portugal international has already directly contributed to 15 of their Primeira Liga goals and managed 33 last term.
His Sporting side have struggled so far this term and remain off the pace in the Portuguese title race, 19 points behind leaders Benfica.
There is plenty of pressure of United’s newest recruit, given the club’s patchy record in the transfer market in recent years.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has come in for plenty of criticism for their failed dealings, with Memphis Depay, Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez among the more prominent faces brought to Old Trafford who ultimately failed to deliver.
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