DEAL OR BRUNO DEAL?
Manchester United don’t tend to make signings in January. They bloody well need to this month. Their reported targets often use speculation as leverage to force a better contract out of their current clubs. Bruno Fernandes signed his latest deal in November.
The usual stumbling blocks seem to be disappearing. United remain ‘cautious’ but ‘there is optimism’ among the midfielder’s representatives that a transfer can be completed (Daily Mail). What’s more, he ‘is thought to be available for less than he was on the market for last summer’ (Daily Telegraph).
That figure currently stands at around £55m if the Mail are to be believed, although they do add that ‘the sliding scale of Sporting’s valuation also acted as a deterrent’ in the summer. And Marcos Rojo won’t be headed the other way in any swap deal.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was coy on the suggestion that he and assistant Mike Phelan had travelled to Portugal to watch Fernandes last weekend but the Mail suggest they they returned with the belief that ‘his general play and notable goalscoring record would prove a valuable asset’. That conclusion was pretty easy to come to in the summer.
This, from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is absolutely glorious.
At what stage do you think he realised? pic.twitter.com/yi0RAksSXB
— Football365 (@F365) January 11, 2020
The Telegraph say United’s interest in Fernandes has intensified not only due to injuries suffered by Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba, but because they face a bigger ‘fight’ to sign Donny van de Beek from Ajax, with James Maddison an impossible deal to strike mid-season.
So they have landed on the 25-year-old. What a shame, then, that the Manchester Evening News quote sources as claiming that the ‘noise is being driven out of Portugal’, and that United ‘suspect an auction is being whipped up’.
Yet the Daily Star say United are ‘growing increasingly confident’ of signing Fernandes after holding a meeting in their Mayfair offices with Sporting representatives on Friday. Ed Woodward apparently ‘fears’ interest from Juventus or Barcelona, Sporting want a player in return and a contract worth £150,000 a week has already been drawn up.
IT MOUSS BE LOVE
Kaveh Solhekol has more news of United targets, because he is a top fella.
He told the Sky Sports Transfer Show that the club is “interested” in Raul Jimenez, adding that “it would be a very difficult deal”. Fellow striker Moussa Dembele “would like to come to England” but “Lyon don’t want to sell him this month”.
Still, United “are looking to sign another forward”. The Sun recently stated that Wolves would only accept an offer of £100m for Jimenez, while the glorious, beautiful Duncan Castles says Dembele’s price “will be above 100m euros”. He clarifies that Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas “is prepared to test the desire of big English clubs to pay out serious money” after eventually lowering his valuation of Tanguy Ndombele in the summer.
AND THE REST
Tottenham have emerged as a potential threat to West Ham in the race to sign Benfica’s Portugal midfielder Gedson Fernandes, 21… Everton are preparing a £25m bid to sign Brazil forward Everton Soares 23, from Gremio… Juventus and Germany midfielder Emre Can, 25, has rejected a move to Manchester United out of respect to his former club Liverpool… Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has ruled out a Chelsea exit for Danish defender Andreas Christensen, 23, in the January transfer window… Sassuolo winger Jeremie Boga, 23, is wanted by Everton and West Ham… Newcastle United are willing to let English forward Dwight Gayle, 29, go out on loan, however any deal would have to include an obligation to buy for £20m… Derby and QPR are leading the chase for Tottenham winger Jack Clarke, 19.