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Manchester United agree to sign Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon

Deal reported to be worth €55 million and expected to boost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's struggling midfield

File photo of Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes who has agreed to move to Manchester United. AFP
File photo of Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes who has agreed to move to Manchester United. AFP

Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Portuguese international midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

"Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached 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," the club said in a statement.

United announced the news a day after making a breakthrough in talks with Sporting over a fee for Fernandes, 25, who is manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's main target in the January window.

According to reports, United will pay an initial €55 million (Dh222m), with a further €10m dependent on Champions League qualification and appearances by the player. There is provision for another €15m based on additional clauses regarding Fernandes' achievements.

United are likely to hand Fernandes a four-and-a-half year deal, hoping to boost their midfield that is struggling following the departures of Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera, as well as long-term injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

Fernandes has 19 international caps for Portugal and helped them win the Nations League last summer.

In Fernandes, Solskjaer has a player who has scored 64 goals in 137 appearances for Sporting since joining from Sampdoria in 2017. His style and hunger for goals has been compared to that of Frank Lampard.

Fernandes is one of the top scorers in Portugal despite playing in midfield; last season he scored 20 goals in the league. He has scored eight from 17 appearances this term, as well as five in the Europa League.

The Portuguese has experience of Serie A as well as the Primeira Liga. He came through the youth ranks at Boavista and played at Pasteleira on loan before joining Italian side Novara at the age of 17.

From there he moved on to Udinese and then Sampdoria before returning to Portugal with Sporting. He has won the Portuguese Cup and two League Cups with the Lisbon club. He also represented Portugal at the 2016 Olympics.

United are also close to signing young Southend goalkeeper Nathan Bishop, according to the Press Association. Bishop has made 39 appearances for Southend since making his debut in 2017.

Apart from Fernandes and Bishop, Manchester United could make a move for some other players in the final hours of the transfer window.

Solskjaer on Tuesday played down suggestions that Marcos Rojo was close to joining former club Estudiantes on loan, but a deal remains a possibility. Rojo, 29, has made only nine appearances for United this season.

Updated: January 29, 2020 09:08 PM

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