MAN UTD DRIVING HARD BARGAIN OVER FERNANDES
Sporting Lisbon are determined not to make life easy for Manchester United in the pursuit of Bruno Fernandes. But then again, it seems United are unwilling to make things easy for themselves…
United and Sporting officials are said to have been thrashing out the terms of a deal to send Fernandes to Old Trafford and though they are close, there is plenty of work to be done. And the Evening Standard suggests Sporting are trying to use Spurs to provoke Ed Woodward into coughing up the £60m it would take to get the move sealed.
But having finally come around to the idea of Fernandes in their midfield, United are now haggling. Sporting’s terms have been clear since the summer when they were hawking the Portugal international around Europe, but The Sun reckons Woodward is trying to scrimp by offering only £51m, which does sound very Woodward.
Indeed, a report in Portugal suggests Woodward is using Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fondness for Fernandes as an opportunity to shift some deadwood. Apparently, United will eventually offer a £60million package but within it will be two players. One is said to be Marcos Rojo, who joined United from Sporting in 2014.
CITY TARGET GREALISH
United have also been heavily linked with Jack Grealish but perhaps part of the reason they’ve ramped up their interest in Fernandes is because they know there is competition for the Aston Villa captain.
The Metro claims that Manchester City have been sniffing around Grealish with a view to making the midfielder one of ‘up to five’ new signings this summer.
Pep Guardiola will get another look at Grealish later today when City head to Villa Park. In October, the City boss described the 24-year-old as ‘incredible’ but ‘too expensive’.
VAN DE BEEK CLOSE TO REAL DEAL
For United, another possible alternative to Fernandes looks to be heading elsewhere…
Donny van der Beek was reported earlier in the week to be a target for the Red Devils, who felt Ajax might be forced into selling because of their Champions League failure.
But The Mirror is reporting that Van de Beek will ignore United’s overtures and instead wait for the summer when he is ’80 per cent’ certain to join Real Madrid.
AND THE REST
Man City are yet to open contract talks with John Stones… Tottenham are set to beat West Ham to Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes on an 18-month loan… Asmir Begovic is having a medical with AC Milan… Wolves is a possible destination for Thomas Lemar… Man Utd will again scout Lille’s Boubakary Soumare… Nemanja Matic could net £5m a year by moving to Chicago Fire… Sheffield United are watching Ipswich defender Luke Woolfenden… Lyon, Aston Villa, Norwich, Tottenham and Newcastle United are all linked with Le Havre forward Tino Kadewere.