Manchester United are close to reaching an agreement with Sporting Lisbon to sign Bruno Fernandes in a deal which could be worth up to £60m but it is understood the move is not imminent.
However, the Portuguese could complete his move after his final appearance for Sporting in Friday’s derby with Benfica in Lisbon.
United will pay £43m up front for the Portugal international with an extra £17m in potential add-ons.
The 25-year-old has also agreed personal terms with United which will see him earn around £120,000 a week at Old Trafford.
Part of the negotiations over a deal for Fernandes included Manchester United not wanting him to play in Friday’s game but the player and Sporting insist that he was going to play in order to say a proper goodbye to the club and the supporters.
There is speculation in Portugal that he could even be in the stands for United’s clash with Liverpool at Anfield on Super Sunday.
The deal will be the second biggest involving a Portuguese player leaving a Portuguese club to go elsewhere after Joao Felix’s £107m move to Atletico Madrid last summer from Benfica.
Analysis: United want Fernandes spark
Sky Sports News’ James Cooper:
“We know about Marcos Rojo and Andreas Pereira being mentioned as options within the transfer but that’s not going to happen.
“Given that United have put all their eggs in one basket – it’s the only player they are talking to, it’s the only major deal they are trying to do – you’d be surprised if they couldn’t get that deal over the line.
“It will happen and I think Solskjaer will want that player in as quickly as possible to provide some sort of spark in the absence of the likes of Paul Pogba and also Scott McTominay.”
‘Fernandes has strong attributes across the board’
Analysis from Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:
‘Fernandes is a central midfielder who has it all.
‘Creative flair? Sure – skilful Fernandes has seven assists this season, which places him second on the goal creators list in Portugal, while no player has created more than his 55 chances.
‘Defensive strength? Tick – Fernandes can put his foot in too. He has won 111 duels this season, the fifth-highest total in Portugal’s top flight, and his 12 recoveries in the opposition’s attacking third ranks tied-fourth.
‘Goal threat? He has that too, having scored eight goals this season and recorded the highest number of shots (23) in his division. He has scored some real stunners from long range but last season’s tally of 20 strikes in 33 league appearances – and 33 goals from 53 games in all competitions – highlighted his transformation into a dangerous finisher in and around the box.
‘With his team in or out of possession, Fernandes has strong attributes across the board.’
How to follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports
Sky Sports will bring you the very latest news from the January transfer market with the return of three shows.
Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday delivering analysis of the biggest stories. Then join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day’s news with The Transfer Show.
Meanwhile, the Transfer Talk podcast will also be back at the turn of the year with more expert analysis from here and across the continent.
And as well as tuning into Sky Sports News, don’t miss a thing with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.