Manchester United have moved a step closer to sealing two more of their summer transfer targets in Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes and Newcastle United’s Sean Longstaff, according to reports.
United executive director Ed Woodward has now switched his attentions to signing two of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield targets.
United have seen an initial €35m (£31m) offer for Fernandes rejected, but Woodward is due to meet with Fernandes’ representative over the best way forward regarding negotiations with Sporting Lisbon.
It’s believed personal terms have already been thrashed out between Fernandes’ agent and United, with the midfielder – who scored or assisted 50 goals in 53 appearances last season – reported last week to have agreed €6m a year salary plus bonuses over a move to Old Trafford.
But United still need to thrash out a deal with Sporting over the transfer fee, with United hoping to pay considerably less than the €80m (£71m) exit clause in his contract with the Portuguese giants.
It is suggested the Portuguese club would accept €70m (£62.7m) for the prolific midfielder, with United currently still some way short of tempting Sporting into the sale and hoping to barter them down to the £50million (€44.8m) mark. Talks between Woodward and his agent are due to commence on Thursday, claims a report in The Sun.
Fernandes has also been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham, but it is thought a move to United is top of Fernandes’ agenda.
United are also due to hold further talks with Newcastle over a deal for Longstaff.
As per both the Daily Star and the Daily Telegraph, Solskjaer is desperate to make the impressive Toon youngster his third signing of the summer this week.
United are understood to have had an opening £15million approach for Longstaff rejected, but it’s claimed the Red Devils believe an improved offer £20m, plus £5m in add-ons, will be enough to convince Newcastle to sell.
Longstaff appeared to rule out a summer move at the start of the month when he reiterated his desire to stay at St James’ Park.
Longstaff said: “If someone told us at the start of the season that by the end of it you’d be linked with these teams, I’d have laughed at them. But it’s nice, it’s flattering.”
However, the departure of manager Rafael Benitez is believed to have prompted a change of heart for Longstaff, leaving United confident of a deal.
Longstaff will also comply with Solskjaer’s transfer brief of snapping up Britain’s most talented young stars, with the United boss hoping to add the 21-year-old to his squad before they fly out on their pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East on July 8.